Tourism revenue for Okinawa reaches 660 billion yen, breaking record four years in a row

June 22, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

On June 21, Okinawa Prefecture’s Department of Culture, Tourism, and Sports announced the prefecture’s tourism revenue for fiscal year 2016. The tourism revenue was 660,294,000,000-yen, a 9.6% increase from the previous year. This means that Okinawa has broken its record four years in a row. Meanwhile, expenditure per tourist was 75,297-yen, a 0.8% decrease from the previous year, which fell below the previous year’s numbers for the first time in four years. Fiscal year 2016’s numbers also did not meet Okinawa’s tourist revenue goal of 674,300,000,000-yen. Director Takao Kadekaru said, “[We] need to perform more analyses, but [we] want to work on attracting more westerners who have greater individual buying power and to lessen the difference with [on and] off-seasons.”

Expenditure per tourist decreased because of the strong yen and cruise passengers not spending as much since they do not have to arrange for accommodations. Even still, since the number of inbound tourists greatly increased, the overall revenue itself was pushed upward.

Breaking down the expenditure per tourist by type of tourist, the department found that domestic tourists spent 74,763-yen, a 0.9% increase from the previous year. Foreign tourists who traveled by air spent 98,097-yen, a 8.6% decrease from the previous year. Foreign tourists who traveled by sea via large cruise ships, spent 33,656-yen, a 29.6% increase from the previous year.

Breaking down the expenditure per tourist by how they spent their money, the department found that lodging expenses accounted for the largest expenditure. Tourists spent 22,766-yen on lodging (-1.9%), 16,711-yen (-0.5%) on food and drinks, 16,436-yen (-4.2%) on souvenirs and shopping, 10,350-yen (+0.5%) on transportation, and 6,667-yen (-4.6%) on entertainment and entrance fees.

Domestic tourists, who account for 70% of inbound tourism, stayed 2.78 days on average, which is 0.11 days shorter than the previous year’s findings. The main reason for this is that 15.3% of tourists only stayed for one night, which is a 3.3-point increase compared to the previous year.

Foreign tourists in their 20s who have relatively low spending power have also increased to 35.5%, which is a 1.9-point increase compared to the previous year.

(English translation by T&CT and Chelsea Ashimine)

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