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Luxurious hotels changing face of Okinawa tourism

Date Posted: 2008-02-28

Upscale hotel resorts in northern Okinawa are luring wealthy customers who once headed for far away vacation sites in Thailand, Indonesia or Guam.

Well to do customers are viewing the northwest Okinawa coast as ‘Heaven on Earth’ and are flocking to the high end resorts in ever increasing numbers. The days of heading for the beach are being replaced by personal services in the hotel resorts themselves, including swimming pools, private massage and luxurious gardens. Single night room rates of ¥150,000 ($1,428) are common at new breed hotels like Oriental Hills Okinawa, located in Onna Village’s Seragaki area.

Okinawa officials say ten upscale resorts are set to open within the next two years, following Oriental Hills Okinawa’s lead. Oriental Hills opened in 2006, attracting a mixed clientele of both younger and older customers. “Sure we have very famous movie stars and politicians among our important customers, an Oriental Hills manager says, “and they like our services.”

Kise Villa Hotel and Spa, The Atta Terrace Club Towers and Okinawa Lohas Hills are other new resorts coming online, all catering as hideaways for the rich looking for an escape from prying eyes of cameramen. A hotel industry spokesman says many resort hotels are shifting their focus from mass tourism to catering to the rich.

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