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Tourism industry on way to recovery

Date Posted: 2002-04-17

According to a recent survey by the Naha City Sight-seeing and Hotel Association, small and medium size hotels in the city, the business is gradually returning to normal after the severe slump caused by the Sep. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S.

Association Director Ichiro Miyasato, the total revenues at five randomly selected small and medium sized hotels in Naha City slightly exceeded revenues during the same time period a year earlier. “This clearly indicates that the worst is behind and we are on our way to recovery,” Miyasato stated.

Miyasato says that the slight increase is the more significant as the entry of many new cheap accommodation services to the market had stymied the growth at the hotels for several years. “The appearance of weekly rental apartments and the popularity of youth hostels and other extremely cheap accommodations had really hurt our business,” Miyasato said.

“The reservations as a whole were flat from February through March,” Administrative Director Yoshinaga Oshiro says. “However, the gross sales at our hotels increased because the actual number of customers staying in hotels went up,” he said.

Another factor that has helped the business to recover has been the aggressive campaigning by Naha City and the prefecture to get the tourism business back on its feet. “For example, Naha City issued discount tickets in cooperation with participating hotels, and that really had a big impact, not only for lodging, but also for using the hotels for dining and meetings,” Oshiro explains.

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