Resort weddings booming

The Okinawa Prefecture Department of Culture, Tourism and Sports announced on October 28th that resort weddings in the prefecture increased by 22% to 5,231 couples for the first half of the year 2014, to the highest number ever.

Visitors to Okinawa related to the weddings numbered about 89,000, generating an economic effect estimated at about ¥7.87 billion.  Officials attribute the success to Okinawa’s improved name recognition and promotion activity.

Couples from within Japan increased to 4,716 while overseas couples numbered 515, an increase of 49.3%. Both are the highest ever.

The most popular plan to tie the knot is so called ‘Chapel Wedding’, which accounted for about 80% of all weddings.  ‘Photo Weddings’ that include only photo shooting increased by 64.5%.

By region, couples from Kanto counted for 39%, followed by 23% from Kinki and 16% from Chubu region.  From overseas, the number of couples from Hong Kong increased by about 1.6 times from last year forming the largest group, followed by couples from Taiwan with a 1.5 times’ increase. Couples from China counted for 7% and Korea 3% of the weddings.

‘Regal Weddings,’ marriages that include the marriage certificate from a local government office sharply increased by 74% to 127 cases.  For all 2014, the Prefectural Government aims at 13,000 couples, while 2013 saw 10,921 couples to tie the knot.