Immigration time to be reduced for passengers of Star Cruises
January 29, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
Malaysia based cruise ship SuperStar Aquarius will be under a system of “landing permission for cruise ship tourists”, which will allow landing through simplified procedures. If this is realized, foreign passengers will be able to stay two hours longer and visit more areas than they can now. In addition, business people expect that tourist spending will increase. This cruise ship, which has a capacity of about 50,000 tons and 1,800 passengers, operates seasonally between Taiwan and Naha, Ishigaki in Okinawa.
The new system allows foreign passengers aboard cruise ships approved by the Minister of Justice to land through a simple procedure. It does not require fingerprints and facial photographs of the tourists. Also, they do not need to be inspected by immigration officers when they depart. Currently, foreign visitors have to go back to the cruise ship two hours prior to departure in order to undergo an immigration checks. If this system is applied, immigration time will be reduced.
Takehisa Shiroma, a staff member at the Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau (OCVB), said, “We expect that this system will help improve convenience and satisfaction for tourists.”
Business people also welcomed this news saying that good economic effects are expected. Cruise ship SuperStar Aquarius is scheduled to visit Naha and Ishigaki 95 times between March and October this year.
(English translation by T&CT)
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