a few seconds ago
Move Over Hawaii, Here Comes Okinawa... Tourists walk along a floating pier after snorkeling in the sea of Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.
For decades, #Hawaii has outshone #Okinawa as an #island destination for tourists. That looks about to change.
The number of visitors to the southern #Japanese islands jumped 10.5 percent in the year ended March 31 to a record 8.77 million people, according to Okinawa prefecture data. That compares with the 8.93 million that went to Hawaii in 2016, an increase of 2.9 percent, #HawaiiTourismAuthority data show. At this pace, Okinawa could overtake Hawaii as early as this year, according to #Miwako Date, the chief executive officer of Japanese developer Mori Trust Co.
Driving the boom in Okinawa is the influx of tourists from #Taiwan, #SouthKorea, mainland #China and #HongKong, who opted for some sand and sun closer to home. Companies are betting that the expansion will continue, with hotel developments completed or planned there for #Hilton, #RitzCarlton, #HyattRegency and Hawaii’s #Halekulani.