Okinawa Tourist Visitors Exceeded Hawaii in 2017
In 2017, the number of tourists who visited Okinawa exceeded Hawaii by about 13,200 people, with Okinawa tallying to 9,396,200 visitors to Hawaii’s 9,382,986. This marks the first time for such an occurrence.
At the onset of Okinawa’s reversion from the U.S. in 1972, Okinawa had about a fifth of Hawaii’s tourism population. Since then, international airlines have steadily opened their routes to Okinawa, as well as many cruise liners Asian-wide. Though outnumbering in terms of visitors, the average stay in Okinawa remained much lower than Hawaii, with 3.78 days to 8.95 days respectively.
When comparing 2016 and 2017 consumer spending habits, Okinawa also lags behind from ¥75,297 to Hawaii’s ¥196,669 yen equivalent (Okinawa 2017 consumer spending data not yet available). According to one staff member from the Okinawa’s Tourism Association, Hawaii offers an ideal island venue for vacationing, but it is their hope to increase both the average length of stay, as well as consumer spending here in Okinawa.