Okinawa aiming to attract 6.9 million tourists in the 2014 fiscal year
May 21 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
The Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) announced a plan to attract more tourists to Okinawa in the 2014 fiscal year on May 20. The government has aimed to attract 6.9 million tourists to Okinawa. The number has increased by 4.9 percent from the number of tourists in the 2013 fiscal year (6.58 million). It has also increased by 100,000 from the number aimed for in a previous plan announced in March.
Of the tourists coming to Okinawa, the OPG aims to attract 800,000 foreign tourists, which is a 27 percent increase on the previous year (630,000). The government plans to gain 497 billion yen in tourism revenue, which is an 11.4 percent increase from the estimates.
Seijun Wakugawa of the OPG said, “There is a concern that low-cost carriers lack the number of pilots. However, we expect that the number of tourists visiting Okinawa to increase due to a buoyant economy and continuing cheap yen.” He went on to say, “We would like to continue to promote Okinawan tourism in and outside Okinawa and improve local hospitality towards tourists.”
For fiscal 2014, the government is aiming for 72,000 yen in average expenses per person. The number has increased by 6.2 percent from the estimates. They aim for 80,000 yen in average expenses per foreign tourist. The government aims for 3.95 days for average length of stay. The number increased by 0.18 days from the estimates. They aim for 5.5 days for average length of stay for foreign tourists. The government aims for 20.04 million tourists staying in Okinawa. The number increased by 9.8 percent from the estimates.
The government expects the number of seats provided by aircraft flying domestic air routes will increase by 300,000, and 200,000 flying international air routes, compared with the previous year. Based on that, the government expects that the number of tourists coming to Okinawa from mainland Japan will increase by 140,000 with a 120,000 increase in foreign tourists.
The OPG expects that cruise ships will call at ports in Okinawa 101 times, which is a 21 increase from the estimates. That will contribute another 30,000 to the increase in tourists visiting Okinawa.
(English translation by T&CT)
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