In an effort to achieve the goals set forth in our Visit Okinawa Plan and ensure a steady stream of Japanese visitors to Okinawa, we have been working to build close-knit collaborative frameworks with various players within the prefecture—particularly those in the tourism industry. We regularly issue domestic promotional materials perfectly tailored to the changing seasons, work with local communities to carry out environmental beautification projects, and sponsor human resource development programs with the aim of creating quality tourism professionals able to manifest our 21st-century vision of Okinawa as a world-class resort and tourism destination. The result is a far-reaching series of efforts to build a comprehensive platform from which to address the needs of the Domestic tourism market.
The activities of Domestic Reception section are built on a core mission, which is outlined in Okinawa’s Vision for the 21st Century and defined as the pursuit of human resource development and local collaboration with the aim of establishing Okinawa as a world-class resort and tourism destination.
1.Developing tourism professionals
We sponsor a variety of training programs and seminars designed to boost the competence of professionals working in the tourism industry. Our efforts include certification programs aimed at developing more capable human resources as well as the production and distribution of educational booklets that teach the younger generation about the importance of the tourism industry in Okinawa. All of these initiatives are designed to promote greater awareness and understanding.
・Seminars to educate tourism professionals
・Educational publications and related projects on tourism
2. Local collaboration and welcoming activities
With visitor interests and preferences becoming increasingly diverse, it is more important than ever that we go out of our way to satisfy the needs our visitors. To this end, we have deepened our collaboration with local communities to make them increasingly attractive as stopover points or as long-term visitor destinations, offer support to tourism-related groups in cities, towns, and villages that want to sponsor special events, encourage the use of local resources to promote tourism, and more. In addition, to ensure that our visitors have a safe, relaxing, and enjoyable experience, we have prepared and distributed the Okinawa Tourist Safety and Comfort Guide and take steps to address the needs of tourists whose plans are thwarted due to an unexpected typhoon.
Faced with increasingly harsh competition in a rapidly changing business environment, it is critical that we continue building brand value for Okinawa tourism by showcasing the abundance of attractions our region has to offer. Effectively communicating Okinawa’s rich beauty and charm to the people of mainland Japan throughout the year is what will allow us to ensure a steady stream of domestic visitors. With these goals in mind, we have set out to build collaborative structures that bridge the gap between industry and local communities, launching comprehensive promotional activities (including tourist attractions and media PR activities) that seek to get marketing information to key visitor bases throughout Japan. At the same time, we are promoting a wide range of promotional efforts targeting the travel needs of specific groups, including school trips, destination weddings, sporting events, and MICE tourism.
(1) Season-based promotions
In an effort to ease the seasonal fluctuations of Japanese visitors to Okinawa, we are developing a highly efficient, multifaceted Four Seasons Promotion program based on the concept of “selling” Okinawa’s distinct seasonal characteristics. Taking advantage of tie-ups with a broad range of key players within the prefecture, we have been working to communicate the many attractive features of Okinawa during the spring, summer, fall, and winter months to specific target groups in a way that delivers critical marketing information from each seasonal angle.
(2) Theme-based promotions
By identifying the unique characteristics that define the people who visit Okinawa for a specific purpose—whether it is a school trip or destination wedding—we are able to make Okinawa more attractive to each of these theme-based markets in consideration of their particular challenges. By enhancing our efforts in six-stage industrial promotion tie-ups with agricultural, fishery, and industrial groups as well as in commercializing Okinawa’s traditional arts and culture, we are looking to build stronger collaboration between local communities and members of industry while challenging ourselves to come up with new theme-based promotions in the future.
(3) Okinawa Sports Island promotions
Okinawa’s warm climate, unique regional characteristics, and extensive sports facilities make it a perfect destination for sports enthusiasts of all types. Seeking to make the most of these attractive resources, we are working to promote a wide range of athletic competitions and sports tourism activities through stronger collaboration with related organizations and local municipalities under the Okinawa Sports Island program.
(4) Domestic MICE tourism promotion
As part of our extensive strategy to build value for Okinawa’s visitors, we are working with our Overseas Project Department to actively develop MICE promotions aimed at the Japanese mainland as well. The ongoing Okinawa MICE Project is a joint activity between hotels, reception facilities, and similar groups as a way of creating commercial opportunities for Okinawa’s businesses. We are also implementing a welcome project for in-Japan incentive tours to further boost visitor satisfaction.