Record number of tourists visited Okinawa in 2014

According to statistics published by the Prefectural Department of Culture, Tourism and Sports on January 23rd, the number of tourists visiting Okinawa in 2014 set the new all time record.

The number showed a 10 % increase over the previous year to a total of 7,056,200 visitors, which is the highest ever.  It’s also the first time for the figure to surpass seven million.

Especially, the number of overseas visitors increased significantly by 62.2 % to 893,500. By country, tourists from Taiwan increased 46.1 % to 344,100, visitors from Korea saw a 93.9 % increase to 155,100 people, travelers from Hong Kong increased 45.9 % to 123,000 people, and the number of visitors from China increased about 2.4-fold to 113,400 people.

The department explains the reasons for the increase are the overall expanding demand for tours to Japan because of cheaper yen, improvement and increase of new air connections and the number of foreign airlines flying into Okinawa, and on top of that, the increase in the number of cruise ship port calls to Naha and Ishigaki.

The number of Japanese tourists also increased 5.1 % to 6,162,700 people.  The opening of new air routes from Kansai and Fukuoka area further helped to push up the number of visitors last year.