Miyako receives over 100,000 visitors on cruise ships
The number of passengers on cruise ships visiting Miyako Island by the end of August this year exceeded 100,000 for the first time.
According to local officials, a total of 105,276 cruise ship passengers visited Miyako from between April and end of August. The number was 9.6 times bigger than 10,984 in fiscal 2015. City officials expect the number to exceed 100,000 in fiscal 2017 as well.
A survey among cruise ship passengers from China and Taiwan in July found that 95.6% of them wanted to visit Miyako again, as the island is becoming a popular destination as a port of call for cruise liners.
In 2015, only 13 cruise ships made port calls at Miyako. In 2016 the island is estimated to have at least 109 calls. 71 ships have already made a port call since April until the end of August, and officials on Miyako expect to have 17 more ships in September and October.
According to the satisfaction evaluation survey among the cruise passengers, the best thing in Miyako was “nature and landscapes” (84.1%), and “hospitality” (81.5%). The worst was “WIFI environment” (34.4%).
Kazuhiko Hirara, the manager of Miyako Office of Department of Commerce and Sightseeing said that the total number of tourists coming to Miyako-jima is going to exceed 700,000 in 2016. “The number of cruise passengers is increasing, however, our biggest challenge we are facing now is that we have not seen economic effects from it,” Hirara said.