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May 28, 2008
Tourism officials in Kagoshima Prefecture, in the very south of Japan, predict a record 43 cruise ships will enter their harbor this year, of which 31 are expected to be foreign ships.
In regard to foreign tourists, there has been an increase in the number of luxury cruises aimed at the growing wealthy upper classes of Asia with special attention paid to affluent Chinese tourists.
To support this expected increase a special marine port has opened to accommodate larger cruise ships.
The previous record high number of ships was in 2001 when 36 cruise ships visited Kagoshima. These harbor upgrades are tied to a prefecture-wide tourism plan to improve the image and appeal of the area to tourists, and from this year on even more activities to attract tourists will take place.