HVCB: Visitor Numbers Up in Sept.

HONOLULU -- The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau reported that September was the "first solid growth month" for the state's tourism since April. A total of 553,730 visitors came to the islands, a 4.8% increase over September last year. U.S. mainland visitors, totaling 246,460, increased 6.9%; eastbound visitors, mostly from Japan, totaled 256,500, up 5.9%.

However, the September gain was not enough to offset the loss for the year. For the first nine months, Hawaii drew 5,209,340 visitors, an 0.4% decline from the period last year, with mainland arrivals up 1.2% and eastbound down 0.7%.

"September's results come as a welcome bright spot after four lackluster months," said Tony Vericella, HVCB president and chief executive officer. However, he added, the figures show a continued decline in first-time visitors, down 2.5% in September, and down 2.2% for the nine months.

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