The number of foreign tourists to the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium significantly increasing
August 23, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
The number of foreign tourists visiting the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium has been steadily increasing.
According to the aquarium, the number was 7,770 in the 2009 fiscal year. However, it amounted to about 16,160 in 2013, increasing by roughly double over five years.
While the ratio of foreign visitors to domestic ones was 6.8 percent in fiscal 2009, it increased to 11.9 percent in 2013. The largest number of foreign visitors came from Taiwan, followed by Hong Kong and South Korea.
The aquarium began surveys on foreign visitors in 2009. It carried them out four times a year and took four days for each survey.
A lower yen and the expansion of international air routes contributed to the increase in the number of the foreign tourists to Okinawa, which led to an increase in the number of foreign visitors to the aquarium.
The overall number of visitors to the aquarium, including foreign tourists was 114,110 in fiscal 2009. The figure amounted to 136,120 in fiscal 2013, increasing by 19.3 percent over five years.
The head of the aquarium Hirokazu Miyahara said, “Although we are handing out multilingual brochures to the foreign visitors, this is not enough. We would like to try various approaches, such as recruiting people who speak foreign languages.”
(English translation by T&CT)
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