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Prefecture, OCB hear tourism complaints

Date Posted: 2011-07-29

Businesses dealing with tourism and tourists have voiced their frustrations over problem areas during a special conference hosted by Okinawa Prefecture and the Okinawa Convention Bureau.

The Foreigner Customer Inbound Liaison Conference for entrepreneurs involved with tourism was intended to identify problems and areas of frustrations felt by hotels, bus companies, restaurants and other industries that interface with tourists. The one-day conference at Okinawa Convention Center divided events into six categories including tourist facilities and hotels, then opened the floor to discussions.

At issue were ways to handle tourists visiting Okinawa, identifying problem areas that make processing tourists more complicated, and ways to streamline bureaucratic procedures. Tourism professionals say there are numerous difficulties in receiving foreigners to Okinawa as tourists, including inadequate information being provided. The specialists also registered complaints about insufficient local travel information, and a need to increase-improve the processing system at Naha International Airport Terminal.

A group of hotels pointed out the need for rapidly increasing human resources to handle multilingual requirements, as well as improving internet environment and services in the prefecture. Each group gave its wish lists to Okinawa Prefecture officials.

“Regarding the increase of foreign tourists, it is necessary that we consider not only the reception of visitors through the tourist industry,” said Yoshiro Shimoji, the Okinawa Prefecture Tourism Policy General Officer, “but also all of Okinawan citizens. We want to come to grips with problems that affect Okinawans and tourists.”

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