Hawaii cuts tourism income projections

HONOLULU -- Hawaii lowered its economic forecasts, signaling the ongoing struggles of the state's $10 billion tourism industry.

According to the latest estimates by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, 6.4 million tourists will have visited Hawaii in 2002, spending more than $10.3 billion.

These figures are 1.8% above last year's arrivals and represent a 2.2% increase in spending. But the improvements are less than half of earlier expectations.

And last month's weak visitor arrivals from both Japan and the U.S. mainland did not help.

The DBEDT forecast for 2003 projects 6.9 million visitors and $11.1 billion in spending, representing another decrease in its original estimates.

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