SAYONI BHADURI – Mumbai
The prefecture of Okinawa, off the coast of mainland Japan, is testing Indian tourism waters. Rui Kinjo, coordinator, overseas marketing section, Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau said that they see a big potential from in the India market that is why they are keen on creating awareness about the destination amidst the travel agents community in India. “Travel agents can sell Okinawa with Hing Kong, Macau and other similar destinations. Okinawa has huge potential if sold with Hong Kong,” she added. The strong connectivity with mainland Japan will also allow Okinawa to be paired up with them.
Okinawa received six million visitors interestingly 95 per cent were domestic travellers. “We are now looking at developing our international tourism business. Our biggest source market currently in Taiwan,” said Kinjo. Okinawa is a mix of 160 small and big islands, of these 40 are uninhabited. The province has nine UNESCO world heritage sites. “Some of the activities that we are looking to promote in India includes longevity of life, diving, whale watching and the American village,” Kinjo said.