Number of tourists to Okinawa reaches new high in January 2014

February 21, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

On February 20, the Okinawa Prefectural Government announced the number of tourists who came to Okinawa in January 2014. The number was 495,100, a new monthly record. This represents a 15.2 percent increase over the same period the previous year. The number of tourists who came to Okinawa has exceeded the previous year’s records for 16 consecutive months since October 2012. In addition to New Year’s holidays which were longer than usual, the travel demand over the Chinese New Year was high, which raised the total number.

The number of foreign tourists increased by 3.08 times to 48,100. The total number of foreign tourists from April 2013 to January 2014 was 534,200. This is the first time that the number has exceeded 500,000 in a fiscal year.

The total number of domestic tourists visiting Okinawa increased by 7.9 percent to 447,000. Those from Tokyo increased by 9.9 percent to 226,700, from Kansai by 13.7 percent to 81,400, and from Fukuoka by 4.2 percent to 55,200. However, the number of tourists from Nagoya decreased by 3.0 percent to 35,700.

The number of the tourists from Korea increased by 89.9 percent to 15,000. This is the first time this number has exceeded a monthly figure of 10,000. Those from mainland China increased by 23 times to 11,500, rebounding from the impact of the Senkaku Islands dispute of the previous year. Those from Taiwan increased by 2.7 times to 11,200 with 5,200 tourists from Hong Kong, a 2.8 times increase.

A spokesperson for the Okinawa Prefectural Government said, “Other flights are coming in from Taiwan and Korea this February, so the travel demand to Okinawa will continue to be high and will shift to a higher level than the previous year.”

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori)

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