Chinese diving company plans to launch business in Okinawa

Hairun, a dive shop from Dalian, China, is planning to open a branch store on Okinawa to prepare for selling scuba diving tours packages to Chinese tourists.

The aim is to attract Chinese divers who want to do scuba diving in Okinawa but cannot, because of the language barrier. The company plans to start selling the package tours from this November, and promote Okinawa as “the nearest foreign resort area” to scuba divers whose numbers are rapidly increasing in China.

Hairun has two branches in Dalian with more than 1,000 members. The company has arranged scuba diving package tours both to domestic areas and overseas to destinations like Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

In China, the number of people who take a diving license has been increasing in line with its economic growth. Packaged tours to enjoy diving overseas are becoming popular, but Japanese dive tour companies are reluctant to accept them because of the language barrier.

According to Hairun CEO, “Chinese divers are inclined to favor destinations in Southeast Asian countries where people speak and understand Chinese or English. I would like to introduce Okinawa to Chinese divers because of its beautiful ocean and world-class facilities.”

Hairun opened a local subsidiary in March in Naha with support of the Ryukyu Economics Strategy Research Association that supports economic exchange between Okinawa and China.

The plans is to conduct diving tours with a locally hired Japanese diving instructor and proficient interpreter. They will reserve lodging facilities to make the tours completely packaged to reduce the cost.

The plans include package tours to see hammerhead sharks or underwater ruins off Yonaguni Island from December to March. The tours will go for sale in China from November.