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Friday, October 27, 2000

Survey: Japan
weddings in isles
up 44% this fall

Hawaii provides the ocean
views and convenience that
couples are looking for,
says the Japan Travel Bureau

By Russ Lynch

Getting married in Hawaii is rapidly gaining popularity among Japanese couples, with a 44 percent increase in weddings planned for the islands in the last three months of this year compared with the same period last year, Japan's biggest travel agency says.

JTB Among 3,121 couples booking honeymoon travel with Japan Travel Bureau Inc. for the last quarter of this year, 419 couples planned to hold the actual wedding ceremonies in Hawaii, compared with 291 couples in the last quarter of 1999, a JTB survey said.

Hawaii gets 63 percent of all the Japanese overseas wedding business, according to JTB's survey.

"Reasons for Hawaii's popularity include the fact that it provides so many of the elements that Japanese people prefer," JTB said. One of those elements is proximity to the sea and many Hawaii wedding chapels now have glass-walled sanctuaries from which the sea is visible.

"Also, Hawaii is very convenient for couples accompanied by the average of six to eight guests," JTB said.

Hawaii remains by far the most popular choice among all the Japanese who travel overseas for a honeymoon, whether or not the trip includes the wedding itself.

JTB's survey of the choices made by the 3,121 couples showed that 97.3 percent, or 3,038 couples, chose to go overseas and 28.6 percent, or about 869 couples, chose Hawaii. For the same period of last year, 97.1 percent of the honeymooners booked overseas trips and 26.4 percent of them chose Hawaii, JTB says.

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