For decades, Hawaii has outshone Okinawa as an island destination for tourists. That looks like it’s about to change.
The number of visitors to Okinawa Prefecture jumped 10.5 percent in the year that ended March 31 to a record 8.77 million people, according to prefecture data. That compares with the 8.93 million who went to Hawaii in 2016, an increase of 2.9 percent, Hawaii Tourism Authority data show. At this pace, Okinawa could overtake Hawaii as early as this year, according to Miwako Date, chief executive officer of Japanese developer Mori Trust Co.