NIAC projects tourism to Okinawa in 2018 at 10,360,000 people with growth in foreign tourism

NIAC projects tourism to Okinawa in 2018 at 10,360,000 people with growth in foreign tourism

August 10, 2018 Ryukyu Shimpo


On August 9, the Nansei-shoto Industrial Advancement Center (NIAC) compiled its analytical results of the causes of fluctuations in numbers of tourists to Okinawa.

The NIAC used a seasonal adjustment method to remove seasonal fluctuations and find the “real number” of tourists to Okinawa.

It analyzed the irregular variations in short-term trends and cyclical variations in mid-to-long-term trends.

These analyses project that there will be 6,920,000 domestic visitors in 2018, and 3,440,000 foreign visitors, reaching a total of 10,360,000 tourists.

This would surpass the prefectural goal of 10,000,000 tourists for 2018.


Foreign tourism seems likely to exceed the goal of 3,000,000 people.

However, the growth in domestic tourism has slowed down, so it is likely it will not reach the goal of 7,000,000 tourists.

The NIAC analyzed statistics about numbers of tourists to Okinawa between January 1995 and June 2018, using seasonally adjusted values.

Compared with the May last year, the real number of domestic tourists to Okinawa this year was less.

These analyses showed that the trend fluctuations known as cyclical variations had decreased over two months starting in March 2018.

Looking at the coefficient of variation (CV) regarding seasonal fluctuations as removed by the seasonal adjustment method, it is clear the latter half of the 1990s had large differences in tourism during peak seasons versus off periods.

The 1995 peak season and off period had a large difference with a CV of 17.1, but in 2005 the difference between these periods was much less a CV of 10.09. However, thereafter these CVs have remained steady, and the NIAC is facing the challenge of equalizing seasonal fluctuations.

Looking at cyclical variations in foreign tourism trends, when the yen appreciates, the growth in numbers of tourists to Okinawa slows down.

The NIAC has analyzed that the appreciation of the yen affects tourism.

The projection found by the seasonal adjustment method closely reflects the latest data, though it seems likely that it somewhat overestimated the number of foreign tourists.


(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)


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