Chinese tourists flood into Okinawa ― the long holiday for Chinese New Year starts

Chinese tourists flood into Okinawa ― the long holiday for Chinese New Year starts

On January 23 at the Pacific Hotel Okinawa in Naha, tourists from Taiwan have come to Okinawa for the long holiday season of Chinese New Year.

January 24, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

Many tourists from China and Taiwan, where it is now the long Chinese New Year holiday, are coming to Okinawa. They are mainly from Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taiwan and a spokesperson for the Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau (OCVB) said, “The number of tourists must be growing because there are more charter flights than last year.”

During the week around this holiday season, China Airlines (Taiwan) increased its one 300-passenger charter flights from last year to three flights.

According to staff of the Okinawa branch of Hong Kong Airlines (HKA), from last year the number of tourists has grown by 10 percent because of the increase in the number of direct flights, such as the new Hainan Airlines (the parent company of HKA) service between Naha and Beijing, and the introduction of larger aircraft by Hong Kong Express Airways.

Meanwhile, tourism industry officials have enhanced the support systems for receiving inbound tourists. Between January 21 and 29, the OCVB will distribute 7500 free monorail one-day passes to tourists and by January 23, they had already given out 1600.

About 1500 guests will stay at the Pacific Hotel Okinawa in Naha during the holiday week. To create a welcoming atmosphere, they have prepared decorations and music for Chinese New Year and for breakfast offer Chinese boiled-dumplings, which are believed to be lucky if you eat them at New Year.

On January 23, a tourist from Taiwan said, “I’m looking forward to going shopping. I will spend all of what I have brought with me for shopping.”

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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