Yaeyama Islands prepare for influx of foreign visitors
Yaeyama Visitors Bureau has collected information on accommodations on Ishigaki, Taketomi and Yonaguni islands that say they are able to welcome tourists from overseas.
Apart from hotels, 34 guesthouses answered that they would be capable of accommodating tourists from abroad, but the problem that came up constantly was there is no staff able to speak a foreign language.
According to Yaeyama Tourism Association, since the opening of the new Ishigaki Airport the number of tourists has increased in general and so has the number of foreign tourists. There reportedly has been cases when tourists from Taiwan have not been able to make hotel reservations. Half of tour and guesthouse operators say the reason for this is the language barrier.
Yaeyama Visitors Bureau is planning to offer a course to give information on how to attend to and handle problems arising with foreign tourists.