Tourist arrivals, spending up in June in Hawaii

Hawaii tourist arrivals up nearly 6 percent, spending up 7 percent to $1.3B in June

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) -- Hawaii tourism officials say visitors spent $1.3 billion in the Aloha State in June as the state saw more tourists overall and more spending from domestic travelers.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority said Thursday that the state welcomed nearly 717,000 visitors in June, up 5.5 percent compared with the same month one year ago. Spending was up 7 percent compared with June 2012.

Over the first six months of the year, Hawaii has seen 1,200 more visitors per day and $2.6 million more spent per day compared with the first half of 2012.

CEO Mike McCartney of the Hawaii Tourism Authority says one key to sustaining growth will be opening more direct markets to Hawaii, especially cities in Asia.

"As we move into the second half of the year, we must be mindful that the world economy is fragile," McCartney said. "We will need to invest more to keep our market share and stay competitive."

Hawaii saw fewer visitors in June from the eastern U.S., and lower spending from Japan.

The more than 120,000 visitors who came from Japan in June spent an average $294 per person per day, down 9 percent from the same month last year. Japanese visitors also stayed a shorter time, leading to an 11.2 percent drop in total visitor spending from Japan to $208.3 million.

There were 8.3 percent more seats on flights to Hawaii in June compared with last year.

Business travel to Hawaii fell 4.3 percent compared with last year, with conventions and corporate meeting visitors down.

More than 14,000 visitors, including more than 8,000 from Japan, came to Hawaii to get married in June.

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