Over 500,000 tourists visit Okinawa in June

July 20, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

On July 18, the Okinawa Prefectural Government announced the number of tourists who came to Okinawa in June 2014. A total of 557, 300 visitors represents a 13.9 percent increase over the same month last year, setting a new monthly record. This is the first time the number of tourists coming to Okinawa has exceeded 500,000 in June.

As a result, the number of tourists who came to Okinawa has exceeded the previous year’s records for 21 consecutive months since October 2012. The number of foreign tourists increased by 52.8 percent to 95,500. It exceeded 90,000 for two consecutive months.

Although low-cost carriers cut 40 domestic flights to Okinawa in 2014, this did not affect tourism. The same number of seats was filled in flights to Okinawa this June as in June 2013.

The number of foreign tourists traveling by air and sea was high because airline companies expanded routes to Taiwan and China, and many cruise ships visited Okinawa during this period. The figures were new records for three consecutive months.

The total number of domestic tourists visiting Okinawa increased by 8.3 percent to 461,800. Those visiting from Tokyo increased by 7.1 percent to 220,100, from Kansai by 8.6 percent to 100,000, and from Fukuoka by 6.1 percent to 55,700. The number of tourists from Nagoya increased by 3.6 percent to 37,500.

The number of tourists from Taiwan increased by 42.6 percent to 41, 200. Those from Hong Kong increased by 52.7 percent to 13,900. Those visiting from mainland China increased by 2.7 times to 11,800 with 11,400 tourists from Korea, a 78.1 percent increase.

A spokesperson for the Okinawa Prefectural Government said, “The number of tourists to Okinawa exceeded 500,000 in June despite June being in the tourist off- season. Many people have come to recognize Okinawa as a popular tourist spot, which has led to airline companies expanding flight routes.”

(English translation by T&CT)

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