Free iPhones for foreign tourists to Okinawa

Free iPhones for foreign tourists to Okinawa

Okinawan tourist office opts for shameless gimmickry to lure more people to the tropical island chain
okinawa free iphone

Visitors to Okinawa will get an extra bonus upon arrival, according to news site J-Cast. The Okinawa tourist office has announced that from October 2010, iPhones will be made available for free for visitors in an apparent attempt to lure more tourists to the tropical island chain. 

Last time we looked, Okinawa was still home to some amazing beaches and some great cultural attractions like bloodless bullfighting and a pineapple wine park. Call us cynical, but perhaps this cash would be better spent on marketing the real value of Okinawa rather than on some faddy gadgets? 

And tough luck if you're Japanese; this scheme only applies to foreign visitors. 

But, if this is likely to pull you in, here's the deal: the airport and harbor in Okinawa will have 100 iPhones free to borrow for your stay, while various hotels and restaurants will have another 200 available as a two-year experiment gets under way.

This probably will help people to break the language barrier and find their own way around. But how they plan to track down those that fly out of Okinawa having conveniently forgotten to return a free iPhone is, as yet, a mystery.


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Robert Michael Poole is a specialist on the Japanese music and entertainment scene.

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