Tourism boom continues in Okinawa, all of Japan
According to a recent report by Okinawa Prefecture Culture, Tourism and Sports Division, the economic effect of tourism related business in Okinawa reached an all-time high ¥1.17 trillion in fiscal 2017, and the division officials are confident that the upward trend continues.
Money that the visitors spent went up by 12.7% totaling ¥779.3 billion. Foreign visitors’ spending accounted for ¥200 billion of the total. The division report put the secondary ripple effect of the tourism industry at ¥164.4 billion while the direct spending amounted to ¥691.2 billion.
Spending in hotels and other lodgings was ¥225.6 billion while restaurant spending by visitors was ¥187.7 billion.
The Japan Tourism Agency, an organization that was founded 10 years ago to boost the number of visitors from abroad further and all tourism in the nation, says in its latest nationwide report that the number of foreign visitors to Japan hit a record high of 28.69 million in 2017. The stated goal of the government is to increase the number of foreign visitors to 40 million in 2020, when the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held.
The number of visitors to Okinawa and all of Japan has been rising steadily thanks to increased number of international flights and port calls by cruise ships. The government has also enacted new laws aimed at making the visits more convenient, such as the expanded duty-free shopping system.
In 2017, foreign visitors spent a total of more than ¥4 trillion during their stays bringing considerable benefits to the country’s economy as a whole.
The completion of the second runway at Naha Airport, currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2019, is seen as giving a further significant boost to the number of visitors to Okinawa, as the current capacity of the airport is at its maximum.