Majority of foreign tourists dissatisfied with WiFi services in Okinawa

June 3, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) has conducted a survey on usage of a public wireless network (WiFi) in accommodation facilities and tourist spots in Okinawa, including looking at Internet usage of foreign tourists. According to the survey, 89.6 percent of accommodation facilities have installed WiFi while only 30.9 percent of tourist spots have WiFi services. Thirty percent of foreign tourists answered “Satisfied” with WiFi services. The most common reason for dissatisfaction was, “There are few WiFi spaces, or it is unclear if WiFi is available.”

OPG conducted a questionnaire survey in 97 tourist spots and 356 accommodation facilities (a total of 435 facilities) in Okinawa from November 16 to December 18, 2015. They analyzed the log of WiFi and GPS.
Regarding language, 42 percent used English, 23 percent used traditional Chinese, which is mainly used in Taiwan and Hong Kong, 19 percent used simplified Chinese, which is used in mainland China, and 5 percent used Korean. Meanwhile, 84.3 percent of foreign tourists used Internet services.

Among the people who are interested in using WiFi, 66.9 percent answered that they could not use it at a place they wanted to use it. The most common place for using WiFi was at hotels and accommodation, which had 87.7 percent, the next most common in order were Airport, Port, Bus stop, and station, which showed 44.4 percent. The most common place where tourists could not use WiFi was tourist spots, which got only 26.3 percent.

The OPG has made a start on a prefectural-wide WiFi free service in order to improve convenience for foreign tourists.

Starting on July 1, Okinawa Cellular will release 5,700 free WiFi connection spots, previously only for those on an AU contract.

(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)

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