The number of tourists visiting Okinawa hits July record as Chinese nationals flock here

August 21, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

The number of tourists visiting Okinawa in July increased 9.2 percent from the same month in 2014 to a record 714,000 visitors, according to data released by the Department of Culture, Tourism and Sports on August 20. It was the first time the number of tourist visits in July has exceeded 700,000.

The monthly number of tourists visiting Okinawa has reached new records for 34 months in a row. The number of foreign tourists visiting in July increased 76.6 percent from the same month in 2014 to 163,000. The number of Chinese tourists in that month increased 2.7 times from the same month last year to 40,700, which accounted for 25 percent of foreign tourists.

Meanwhile, the number of July domestic tourists decreased 1.9 percent to 551,000 for two months in a row. The number of domestic tourists in June decreased 0.2 percent from the same month 2014.

An official from the prefectural government said, “The number of domestic tourists decreased due to typhoons. Meanwhile, the number of foreign tourists increased due to the introduction of new international flights and an increase in cruise port calls to eight times that of same month last year.”

The number of tourists from Taiwan increased 32.1 percent to 51,800, Hong Kong up 79.7 percent to 23,000, and Korea up 2.1 times to 21,300.

The number of domestic tourists from the Tokyo area decreased 1.8 percent to 287,400, the Kansai area down 1.0 percent to 112,000, the Nagoya area down 4.9 percent to 42,700 and the Fukuoka area up 3.3 percent to 63,500.

(English translation by T&CT and Hitomi Shinzato)

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