Okinawa prepares to host first Western Routes Asia




Okinawa will host the first Japanese Paths Asia air service development discussion board this weekend (19-21 March) to enhance international transport connections.

Now in its 15th year, Ways Asia brings together airlines, airports, travel and leisure authorities and governments to program new flights and increase current services. Over 930 route advancement professionals from 110 airlines, 170 airports and 20 tourism government bodies are expected to attend this year’ s i9000 event at Okinawa Convention Center.

Japan has become a cheaper tourist destination in recent years due to the introduction of low-cost carriers and the devaluation of the Japanese yen. Between last year and 2016 the number of overseas website visitors surged from 6. 2 mil to over 24 million, while Japan’ s international market capacity increased by 43% to 52. five million seats.

Okinawa has also experienced a tourism increase with over eight million individuals travelling to the prefecture every year to relish the subtropical climate, serene seashores, crystal clear sea, lush forests, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and exclusive culture.

Okinawa’ ersus Naha Airport has more than trebled its international flight capacity within the last three years from an average of eight in order to 23 a day. New links consist of Hangzhou, Nanjing, Tianjin, Kaohsiung plus Bangkok.

Hosting Paths Asia will give Okinawa the opportunity to display its many attractions to the modern aviation industry. The airlines that have registered include Air China, Air Asian countries, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, British Airways, Hainan Air carriers, Norwegian and Qatar Airways.

The conference element of the big event, the Strategy Summit, will give delegates the chance to hear from industry market leaders. The high profile speakers include the TOP DOG of Hong Kong Express, Andrew Cowen; the president of Spring Air carriers, Steven Wang; and Etihad Airways’ vice president international affairs, Vijay Poonoosamy.

Steven Little, brand director of Routes, stated: “ This is the first year that will Routes Asia will be held within Japan, so it’ s a fantastic landmark for us. The event will help Okinawa Prefecture to reach its target associated with 10 million tourists a year simply by 2021.

Takeshi Onaga, Governor, Okinawa Prefectural Government stated: “ As the host of Ways Asia, Okinawa Prefecture is anticipating with great excitement to displaying our guests around these stunning islands.

“ Okinawa is Japan’ s southernmost tropical isle, and I am certain that our visitors will be fascinated by their experiences associated with Shuri Castle, which has been registered being an UNESCO World Heritage Site, in addition to by our crystal seas, stunning sandy beaches, glittering coral reefs, traditional dance performance and Okinawan cuisine. ”