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Okinawa readies its new buses catering to tourists

Date Posted: 2011-01-14

Visitors to Okinawa will no longer have to figure out how to get to different tourist sites and shopping meccas on the island, as Okinawa Prefecture launches a one-month trial of a new bus service.

The two-prong bus plan calls for buses running from Naha Airport International Terminal to the major resort hotels, and for separate buses to travel routes connecting various tourist facilities, free of charge to tourists.

An airport limousine bus links the International Terminal, Nago City and main resort hotels in Onna Village. The tour buses will operate a circuit to tourist facilities in central and northern Okinawa, including American Village in Chatan Town and the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Expo Park.

Timetables and bus tickets will be distributed at counters now set up at the International Terminal, and at hotel and tourism facilities where the buses will stop. Timetables and tickets can also be downloaded from the internet.

A feature of the new International Tourist Strategy Model Business is finding out what tourists really want. When people take the bus, Okinawa Prefecture officials will ask visitors to fill out a questionnaire. The data gathered will be used to assess the possibility of a private corporation offering the bus services in the future.

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