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Chinese travel agency to boost Naha charter flights

Date Posted: 2010-06-24

A Beijing-based travel agency is planning to dramatically increase the number of charter flights from China’s capital city to Okinawa over the next eight months.

Beijing Gaisan International Tourist Agency, which has flown Chinese tourists to Okinawa on seven charter flights last year and 11 charter flights so far this year, says it will increase the number of charters to 57 in coming months. The increase, says travel agency president Chin Shohei, will bring fully booked flights carrying 8,778 tourists to Okinawa.

The travel agency’s marketing manager, Chin Li, has already visited the Okinawa Prefecture Tourism Commercial Section to advise officials of the plan so appropriate arrangements can be made. ‘Until last year, Chinese tourists had visited mainly in winter because Okinawa is so warm,” he told local officials, “but now tourists want to visit Okinawa even in the summer, so we decided to increase the charter flights.” The charters will be flown by China East Airlines. The Chinese tourism season runs from summer through Lunar New Year.

Okinawa Tourist Service Co., will handle the charters and tourists on behalf of Okinawa Prefecture. Each charter tour is expected to be three nights and four days. A Chinese TV station plans to send a camera crew to produce a program showing Okinawa and its culture on broadcasts nationwide in China.

“Last year’s charter flights proved tourists loved to visit Okinawa,” says Chin. “We’re going to promote Okinawan tourism to all of China, because Okinawa is the future ‘most popular’ tourist destination, and we want to be strong in promoting Okinawa.”

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