Queries to OCVB multi-language center increase
Queries to the multi-language contact center managed by Okinawa Convention Bureau (OCVB) have been sharply increasing this year.
The center reports that it received 4,276 queries from April to September this year that is 19% more than during the same period last year.
Judging from contents of the queries, many foreign tourists are highly interested in remote islands. They often ask for information about certain places or events that local people would visit, like Hiji waterfalls in Kunigami Village or local Eisa festivals.
According to OCVB, last year the center had many queries regarding local products, but this year queries about hands-on visitor experiences like camping increased.
The multi-language contact center accepts queries via telephone, Skype, or e-mail. Most of the questions on telephones ask for interpreting, like when using a taxi, or about a menu in a restaurant.
Many of the queries that came via e-mail were about information on activities, or transportation to remote islands.
For example, a tourist from Turkey asked for information about “beaches where I can camp safely, and how to get to Hiji waterfall.” A tourist from South Korea asked about “one-day round trip to Iriomote Island”. A tourist from Hong Kong asked of “any festival where I can join Eisa dance”.