Over 10 million tourists estimated to visit Okinawa in fiscal 2021

Over 10 million tourists estimated to visit Okinawa in fiscal 2021

Projected Visitor Arrivals to Okinawa Over the Next Decade /March – Naha Airport’s Second Runway Begins Operations / 10 Million-Target Figure for Fiscal 2021

December 23, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

On December 22, the Okinawa Convention & Visitors’ Bureau (OCVB) presented its visitor arrival statistics projected for fiscal years 2015 to 2025. OCVB estimates that in fiscal 2021, tourist arrivals will exceed the 10 million-target figure set by the prefectural government, reaching 10.42 million visitors. Even within this current fiscal year, OCVB expects the total number to reach a record-high 7.75 million people, exceeding this year’s 7.6-million target.

From April to November 2015, an average 10.8% increase on the previous year was seen for the number of people who visited Okinawa. However, with regards to the off-peak period from December to next March, OCVB estimates the annual visitor arrival statistics to reach 7.75 million, an 8.2% year-on-year increase.

In addition, OCVB forecasts an average annual growth rate of 4.26% from fiscal 2016 through fiscal 2019. These figures are based on the long-term forecast of international tourism trends projected by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the average growth rate observed from fiscal 1996 through fiscal 2015.
With Naha Airport’s second runway scheduled to operate from March 2020, inbound and outbound flights are expected to increase by thirty thousand flights. By fiscal 2021, OCVB calculates 10.42 million visitor arrivals, crossing the 10 million-milestone for the first time.

Chokei Taira, President of OCVB, remarked enthusiastically, “These figures have given us hope and motivation to continue promoting tourism in various ways.”

(English Translation by T&CT, Kaya Doi)

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