Tourism dramatically expanding to Nagasaki’s Goto Islands

The Goto Islands in Nagasaki Prefecture are witnessing a dramatic growth in tourist numbers this year as travel agencies put a new focus on tourism to remote Japanese islands.

The main attraction of Goto Islands are the churches and other sites related to the “hidden Christians” of Japan’s Edo Period (1603-1868), which were listed this June as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The envisioned IR at Huis Ten Bosch in Sasebo has been portrayed as a maritime-focused project, meant to spur tourism in and around Kyushu, including the Christian sites of Nagasaki and the Goto Islands.

Another factor contributing to the local tourist boom is the serial establishment of new Japanese travel agencies, often internet-based, that are specializing in travel to such diverse and isolated locations.

Moreover, the Abe administration, mainly as an outgrowth of its national security policies, is subsidizing the development of outlying islands in fear that Asian neighbors might someday lay claim to them.

The Nagasaki prefectural government, too, offers subsidies for the expansion of tourism to the Goto Islands, making them an attractive investment area for travel companies.