14,000 couples with resort weddings bring huge economic effects to Okinawa in 2015
February 19, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo
On February 18, the Okinawa Prefecture Culture, Tourism and Sports Division announced 14,175 couples had Okinawa resort weddings in 2015, a rise of 17.5 percent for the same period last year and the highest number ever. Among the weddings, the number of couples from Japan was 12,717, which was a 16.2 percent increase on the same period last year. The number of couples from overseas, which was 1,458, increased 29.9 percent. Both numbers hit a record high.
220,000 tourists visited Okinawa for resort weddings bringing an estimated 21.7 billion yen to the local economy.
In addition to a weak yen, promotion and online public relation activities through social network services seem to have contributed to the increase.
“Chapel Wedding,” in which a couple have a wedding at a chapel, was the most popular, accounting for 70 percent of the total number of the couples that had resort weddings in Okinawa. “Photo wedding,” in which a couple takes photographs only, tends to increase every year and accounted for about 26 percent.
On the percentages by region, 40.3 percent of tourists visited from the Kanto area, which is the highest, 22 percent visited from the Kinki area, and 15.2 percent visited from the Chubu area.
A comparison of visitors from overseas by region shows that 56 percent of tourists visited from Hong Kong, 32 percent from Taiwan, 9 percent from China, and 2 percent from South Korea.
By districts within Okinawa, Onna and Yomitan villages accounted for 45 percent of resort weddings, followed by Nago City, Chatan Town, and Itoman City.
21.4 percent of couples from overseas had a “Legal Wedding” where they submit a marriage registration and receive verification. This registration by a municipality has been appreciated by couples.
The survey focused on 59 companies that had held resort weddings. The tally came from 49 companies that had answered the questionnaires.
(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)
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