Okinawa outshines Hawaii in visitor numbers

Published on : Wednesday, November 22, 2017


According to Okinawa prefecture data the number of visitors in Okinawa has jumped 10.5 percent in the year ended march to a recorded 8.77 million people.


The Hawaii Tourism Authority data revealed that 8.83 million went to Hawaii in 2016 showing an increase of 2.9 percent.


As per Miwako Date, the chief executive officer of Japanese developer Mori Trust Co Okinawa might overtake Hawaii by this year.



There is a major influx of tourists in Okinawa from Taiwan, South Korea, mainland China and Hong Kong.



The expansion is said to continue with the hotel developments that is being planned for Hilton, Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt Regency, and Hawaii’s Halekulani.



Tom Sawayanagi, managing director for Japan at JLL said that half of the visitors to Hawaii are from overseas and the percentage in Okinawa was low but it was expected that the travellers will increase.


Martin Rinck, the Asia-Pacific president for Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc was positive about the tourism prospect. Hilton will be launching three more hotels from 2018 to 2020 in Okinawa, where the Chetan Resort is currently operating.


It was reported by Mori Trust’s Date that the average growth rate in tourists was 10 percent in Okinawa over a period of five years, while Hawaii has 3 percent. In the last fiscal year the overseas visitors in Okinawa reached a record 2.13 million which was 22 times the total of around 97,000 in 2006.


Shoei Gaja, the supervisor for tourism in Okinawa said that around 89 percent of the foreign travelers were from Greater China or South Korea and in the past Okinawa was always behind Hawaii as compared to the tourism number during the past.

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