Record 700,000 tourists visit Okinawa in August

According to the Okinawa Prefecture Tourism Division, 705,500 tourists visited Okinawa during the month of August. This marks the first time the number rose to more than 700,000, and the highest number ever.

Compared to last year, the number of tourists has constantly risen during the period from March through June. Up to now, the month with most visitors ever was in August 2010 when 635,700 people visited the prefecture. The number of domestic visitors increased by 14.8%, while tourists from overseas went up 33.9%.

One reason for the big jump in the numbers of foreign visitors is that in July the Japanese government announced that visitors from countries such as Thailand and Malaysia can visit the country without a visa.

With the holidays continuing in through September, officials forecast the number to increase even more.