Known as the Galapagos of the East, the island of iriomote in Japan's Okinawa prefecture, known as the Galapagos of the East, has been attracting tourists for years with its natural beauty and the unique Iriomote cat.
According to the news of the news portal Tourism News Center, which is the news source of the tourism sector in Turkey, while the measures taken are considered as an important step taken to prevent the possible damage of excessive tourism to the region, the natural beauty and endemic species of the island, known as the Galapagos of the East, attract great attention from visiting tourist groups, but this interest carries the risk of harming the island's ecosystem and the lives of local residents.
Although Iriomote is the second largest island in Okinawa, the majority of the population is uninhabited. The island is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists for tourism, with visitor numbers peaking at 406,000 in 2007. However, only just over 2,000 people live permanently on the island.
The iriomote cat was added to the World Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources' Red List of Endangered Species 10 years ago and it is estimated that only around 100 remain. Therefore, in order to protect the natural life of the island and ensure the survival of the Iriomote cat, a change in the number of tourists was announced.
Starting from April 2023, the number of daily visitors will be limited to 1200, aiming to protect the natural beauty and native animals of the island, and such steps are important for the protection of endangered endemic species. It was emphasized that the tourism sector should act responsibly to protect the natural beauties of the islands and comply with the restrictions imposed by the local authorities.