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Okinawa again scores high in tourism rankings

Date Posted: 2011-08-04

For a sixth consecutive year, tourists have ranked Okinawa highest in two travel categories, while the island prefecture scored in the top three ins till other categories.

Okinawa draws the best marks from 15,500 tourists surveyed for “being able to feel hospitality from local residents,” and for “having fascination Aomori, Akita and Yamagata. to a lot of souvenirs and local specialties. The prefecture has ranked number one in these division, as surveyed by the Jalan Research Center, the tourism division of Recruit (Tokyo).

The Japan Lodging Tourism Research 2011 results ranked the nation’s 47 prefectures in seven different categories, with the actual surveys coming in mid-April, shortly after the disastrous earthquake and tsunami. The pollsters said “It is easy to define the high level of popularity of Okinawa Prefecture as a tourism destination.” Ranked right behind Okinawa were Aomori, Akita and Yamagata.

The ‘Souvenirs and local specialty’ category scored high based upon the local cuisine and local specialties of Okinawa, including sea grapes, sweet potatoes and Okinawa soba, leading tourists to call Okinawa a land where culture has characteristics connected to charm. The high marks for ‘being able to feel hospitality from local residents’ was based on tourists’ talking about the number and quality of izakayas, taxi drivers, sightseeing spots and hotels.

Okinawa ranked second in the listing “there are fascinating lodging facilities”, second that “there were many spots enjoyable for young people,” and scored third for “there were many spots enjoyable for adults.” Okinawa took fourth place in the “there are many tasty foods only found in Okinawa” category.

The Japan Research Center survey canvassed 15,500 tourists nationwide. The prefecture scored tenth with 4.61 million total number of tourists visiting and using overnight lodging last year. Okinawa garnered third place for its piece of the pie with visitors spending ¥429.4 billion spent in overnight lodging in 2010. However, those figures are lower than a year ago.

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