All-time monthly record of more than one million tourists visited Okinawa this August

All-time monthly record of more than one million tourists visited Okinawa this August


 

September 22, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

 

On September 21 the Okinawa Department of Culture, Tourism and Sports announced that the number of tourists who came to Okinawa in August increased by 8.2 percent (or 75,600 people) from August last year to 1,002,500 people this year.

This is the first time that the number of tourists visiting within a month-long period has exceeded 1,000,000 people. August 2017 is the forty-sixth consecutive month that a record high for one specific month was achieved (i.e. this year marks the all-time high record for August), and the fifty-ninth consecutive month that the numbers were higher than those of the same month the previous year.

Okinawa’s benchmark for inbound tourists both foreign and domestic in 2017 is 9,500,000, and that number is being approached at a steady pace.

 

When the numbers are broken down, since last August domestic tourism from elsewhere in Japan to Okinawa increased 4.6 percent to 726,800 people, and foreign tourism to Okinawa has grew 18.8 percent to 275,700 people.

This is the first time domestic tourists have exceeded 700,000 people within a month.

 

In conjunction with the summer tourism boom, Okinawa’s tourist industry saw favorable trends.

The number of flights along air routes to Okinawa and the number of times cruise ships docked in Okinawa rose.

In addition, the lack of typhoon occurrences boosted this upward shift. An Okinawan official presented the analysis: “We are supporting the remarkable increase in foreign tourists and growing numbers of those coming to the region.

And yet the boom of domestic tourists, accounting for more than half of all [tourists to Okinawa], is huge.”

 

If domestic tourism between last August and this August is itemized: tourism from Tokyo grew 2.2 percent to 359,200 people, Kansai rose 5.2 percent to 153,100, Fukuoka increased 10.2 percent to 88,400, and Nagoya grew 6.4 percent to 58,300.

 

As for itemizing foreign tourism: those from Taiwan rose 34.3 percent to 89,300 people, South Korea increased 8.2 percent to 43,400, mainland China grew 15.6 percent to 65,900, and Hong Kong rose 19.6 percent to 27,500.

 

On a list of countries from which the most tourists came from abroad to Okinawa, the United States ranks fifth after the above-listed countries.

 

Since direct flights between Okinawa and Thailand were established in February, tourism from Thailand has increased 9.5 times from last August to 1,900 people this August.

 

(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)

 

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