JAPAN ORGANIZES A NUMBER OF TOURISTS ON ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR ISLANDS
Due to the emergence of “overtourism”, the government of the prefecture of Okinawa made a decision to reduce the number of tourists on one of the islands of this prefecture. The Japanese island of Iriomote in the prefecture of Okinawa in the south of Japan will be able to receive only 1,200 visitors a day from April. The reason for making this decision is precisely the disruption of the daily life of the population and the disruption of the local ecosystem. The local government’s goal is to limit the number of tourists on the island known as the “Galapagos of the East” to 330,000 per year, reports Kyodo. This island is popular because of its natural beauty, but also because of the special type of wild cats that only live there. The measures are not mandatory for now, but the authorities are invited to cooperate. Before the corona virus pandemic, the island, which has about 2,400 inhabitants, received about 300,000 visitors annually. Due to the excessive number of tourists, there were problems such as water shortages and traffic accidents in which endangered wild cats died. In 2008, the Iriomote Wildlife Conservation Center estimated that the feral cat population was on the decline and that only about 100 individuals remained on the island.