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Tourists Numbers Down But Could Rise

Date Posted: 2000-09-22

The number of tourists coming to Okinawa has been less than that of a year ago for five months in a row, according to officials at Okinawa Tourism and Resort Bureau. The latest numbers show that the number of visitors in August was 4.9 percent down from a year ago.

As for reasons, officials pointed out that the beginning of the year was exceptionally rainy. In July, restrictions caused by the G-8 Summit made a clear dent in the numbers, as summit participants took over many of the prefecture’s resorts. Officials had projected the number of tourists to reach 4.85 million this year, but that figure is now in doubt.

However, they remain optimistic that the target could still be reached. They point out that many popular events lay ahead, including the Ryukyu Kingdom Festival, Naha’s Giant Tug-of-War, Okinawa Industrial Fair, and also a slew of new events towards the end of the year that they expect to give an extra boost to visitor numbers.

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