Shane Nelson
Shane Nelson

*logoHawaii welcomed 625,522 visitors in June, a 13.6% increase from the same period last year and the seventh consecutive month during which arrivals have grown year over year.

Vacationers also spent more in June, as their total expenditures jumped 16.1%, to $131.7 million.

"Our focused efforts to increase travel demand to Hawaii in our major market areas are paying off with increases in arrivals from U.S. West, U.S. East, Canada and Japan," Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO Mike McCartney said in a statement.

"While Japan arrivals are down from 2008, they continue to head upward following last year’s H1N1 epidemic, which severely reduced arrivals and expenditures from this market."

According to preliminary statistics released by the HTA on June 28, arrivals from Japan skyrocketed 47.8% in June, while those from the U.S. West climbed 7.3% year over year. Visitors from the U.S. East jumped more than 10%, and those from Canada were up 7.8%.

Year to date, the state has welcomed nearly 3.6 million visitors — up 5.7% from last year — who have spent over $5.3 billion, or 7.8% more than those arriving during the same period in 2009.

McCartney also cited the 6.6% boost in total air seats to all of the islands over the past six months as a major achievement for the destination.

"Yet there is still much work to do before Hawaii recovers from the 22% decline in visitor spending we experienced over 2008 and 2009," McCartney warned. "During this period, we had 17 months of decreased visitor arrivals and 24 months of decreased visitor spending.

"While we are encouraged by the growth and success of our programs so far this year, we are mindful of many factors that could affect tourism in Hawaii, including continued worldwide economic uncertainty," he added. "Therefore, HTA continues to operate in a crisis posture as outlined in our strategic plan, and we must continue to be aggressive and redouble our marketing efforts to sustain these positive results."

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