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Okinawa hots up for mature Singapore travel market
Kathy Neo, Singapore, September 12, 2014

THE Lion City's inbound operators have pounced on the implementation of 14 new direct charters to Okinawa by SilkAir and Jetstar from this month through to January 2015, creating new packages to the up-and-coming destination.


Dynasty Travel director of marketing communications, Alicia Seah, said: “More and more Singaporeans have already been to many parts of Japan, such as Hokkaido, Tokyo and Osaka, so Okinawa is somewhere new and unique they would like to explore.”


CTC vice president of marketing and PR, Sylvia Tan, added: “Demand for Okinawa has certainly been growing in recent years. There is no dramatic change of climate for Singaporean travellers, and Okinawa offers a variety of options like island tours, cultural sites, family attractions and DIY activities.”


Seah explained: “Currently, scheduled services to Naha require a stop in Taipei, Hong Kong, or other Japanese cities. Although there have been chartered flights from Singapore to Okinawa periodically since 2010, they are only in March and October.


“With the addition of direct charters by SilkAir and Jetstar, our company has launched a 5D4N tour package to Okinawa ranging from S$1,838 (US$1,455) and it is very popular among Singaporeans.”


Similarly, CTC has jumped on the bandwagon with the introduction of two 6D5N packages – one for Christmas, the other for the Muslim market – in December, via SilkAir flights.


However, Chan Brothers Travel is sticking to its current 7D6N package twining Okinawa and Taipei as it is “gaining traction” among customers.


Its manager of marketing communications, Jeremiah Wong, explained that the direct impact of the new charters has not surfaced yet. “(With the current package) not only would customers be able to explore the varied marine bio-diversity of Okinawa and indulge in outlet mall shopping, they are also able to enjoy two days free and easy in Taipei for shopping and food.”


He added: “With the direct charters, consumers will undoubtedly reap benefits such as more competitive fares, increased frequencies and more choices of flight timings, hence lending a hand in boosting travel to Okinawa."

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