WUB Okinawa discuss advancing tourism at Asia Conference

WUB Okinawa discuss advancing tourism at Asia Conference

From left, Higashi, Shimoji, Matsuura and Uezu discuss tourism at WUB Okinawa’s second Asia Conference on October 28, at Okinawa Harborview Hotel, located in Naha City.

October 29, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo

On October 28, just two days before “World Uchinanchu Day,” WUB Okinawa (Worldwide Uchinanchu Business Association Okinawa, chaired by Jinkichi Uezu) held its second Asia Conference at the Okinawa Harborview Hotel in Naha City.

Approximately 140 attendees, which included WUB Okinawa members, gathered to exchange opinions on Okinawa’s tourism.

Discussions drew comparisons with Hawaii, and explored potential areas of future development.

A panel discussion on “Okinawa and Asia’s mega-market” included OTS (Okinawa Tourist Service) Chair and CEO Yoshikazu Higashi, Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau Chair Yoshiro Shimoji and Toyo Keizai reporter, Hiroshi Matsuura. Higashi underscored the importance of shifting focus overseas, as Japan’s population is expected to shrink.

Shimoji touched on “Tourism EXPO Japan”, the world’s largest comprehensive tourism event—its 2020 expo will be held in Okinawa, and Shimoji highlighted the event as “a milestone for Okinawa in advancing its tourism.”

Matsuura offered a chronology of how prices on package tours to Guam and Saipan were cut, and warned that such a model “attracts undesirable tourists. We must practice caution not to repeat those same mistakes in Okinawa.”

(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)

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