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Reversal predicted in downward tourism trend

Date Posted: 2002-01-04

The number of tourists coming to Okinawa in 2001 was estimated at approximately 4.41 million, 2.3 percent less than last year, the Prefectural Tourism and Resorts Bureau announced on Dec. 26. The bureau did, however, see a reversal of the downward trend and predicted a recovery to be on the way. The prefecture had initially set a goal of over 5 million visitors for the year due to favorable factors such as the inclusion of Okinawan historical sites on the World Heritage list and the phenomenally popular NHK series, "Churasan," featuring the daily life of an Okinawan family. However, after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, cancellations reduced the total number of tourists coming to the island. The bureau stated that the number of flight reservations during the current winter holiday season was at the same level as last year and that the tourism industry was on its way to recovery.

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