Okinawa resort weddings bring 10.4 billion yen to local economy in half a year

Okinawa resort weddings bring 10.4 billion yen to local economy in half a year

In April 2014 at Ie Village, a couple had a wedding in a hotel courtyard in front of ocean.

September 23, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

On September 21, the Okinawa Prefecture Culture, Tourism and Sports Division summarized the state of achievement of resort weddings in the first half of 2016.

It announced that 6,553 couples had had resort weddings, a rise of 6.4 percent for the same period last year. During the first half of this year, approximately 109,000 tourists visited Okinawa for resort weddings – the figure includes wedding attendants. The economic flow-on to Okinawa is estimated to exceed 10.4 billion yen.

The Okinawa Prefecture aims to have resort weddings for 15,000 couples this year. In 2015, 14,174 couples had weddings. If the rate of the first half of the year continues, it is expected that the goal will be achieved. A breakdown of resort weddings shows that 5,633 couples were from Japan, which is a two percent increase and 920 couples were from overseas, which is an increase of 44.9 percent.

Chapel weddings were the most popular, accounting for 73 percent of the total number of couples that had resort weddings. Photo weddings, in which a couple takes photographs, only made up 22 percent. Three percent of the total had either an Okinawan style of wedding using Ryukyuan dresses, a wedding at a beach, or an uninhabited island.

Meanwhile, “Guerilla photo shooting” in which foreign couples take wedding photos at ceremonial halls, public facilities and tourist facilities without authorization, has become a new issue. A spokesperson for the Prefectural Tourism Promotion Division said, “Collaborating with the Okinawa Resort Wedding Association, which urged people to stop guerilla photo shooting, we are trying hard to keep everyone informed about public rules.”

(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana) 

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