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Bad economy, weather dampen Golden Week traffic

Date Posted: 1998-05-18

Golden Week, such called because of a string of Japanese national holidays that occur within a span of about one week starting Wednesday, is usually one of the year's peak travel seasons.

This year, however, many travel agencies and airlines say that the rush is more subdued that in recent memory. This, according to analysts is because of the dire situation of the economy. many families who traditionally took vacations during Golden Week have opted to stay home and save money or take shorter one and two-day trips instead.

For the same reason, many companies keep their doors open instead of closing for a long period of time. Nationwide, on average, workers get six days off.

An additional factor dampening travel in Okinawa is rainy weather. Many suspect that the annual rainy season has arrived because of the almost constant rainfall during past couple of weeks. The forecast for the weekend promises much of the same.

Normally, the rainy seasons begins middle of May, but officials at Okinawa Meteorological Bureau admit that the conditions seem to indicate that the rainy season is, indeed, here. However, they declined to declare the arrival of the rainy season officially, at least for now.

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