Professional Baseball Spring Training in Okinawa shatters economic records, bring in in 10.9 billion yen and 350,000 tourists

Professional Baseball Spring Training in Okinawa shatters economic records, bring in in 10.9 billion yen and 350,000 tourists


June 16, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Ryugin Research Institute (Naha, Okinawa, Toru Ikehata, CEO) announced the economic effect of the 2017 Okinawa Pro Baseball Spring Training June 15. In addition to the Nippon Series and League champion team holding their spring training in Okinawa, the Yomiuri Giants camp lasted longer than their 2016 stay, resulting in an economic result of 10.95 billion yen and an influx of 3.5 million tourists, both record highs.

This year Okinawa welcomed nine Japanese professional baseball teams to spring training, the same as the previous year.

With last years’ Nippon Series champions, the Nippon-ham Fighters, holding their spring training in Okinawa, the number of reporters and commentators increased by 250 people compared to the previous year for a total of around 2,000 people.

Tourism also increased this year by around 17,000 people. Within this figure, visitors from outside of Okinawa increased by 4,900 people compared to the previous year for an estimated total of around 70,900 visitors.

Breaking down the economic benefits by industry, the hospitality industry brought in just over 2 billion yen, the retail industry recorded 1.3 billion yen, the restaurant business brought in 1.28 billion yen, and the manufacturing industry reported 1.17 billion yen.

The Ryugin Research Institute indicated in its analysis, “Professional Baseball spring training attracts a large number of tourists and people involved with baseball to Okinawa, stimulating consumption and having an immense effect on the Okinawan economy. By utilizing this opportunity even more effectively, it will contribute to the development of the professional sports industry overall including professional soccer and basketball.

(English translation by TC&T and Sam Grieb)

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