Hawaii governor wants $10M more to promote tourism

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Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle wants to spend an additional $10 million to market the state to tourists.

In a meeting with 25 Hawaii hotel executives on Tuesday, Lingle said she is recommending that the Hawaii Tourism Authority spend $10 million more than originally planned this year.

The HTA has about $54 million to spend in 2008, with $30 million aimed at marketing in North America and Japan.

The funds come from the transient accommodations taxes on hotel rooms.

Lingle did not say where the extra funs would come from, but it is likely that the $10 million will be shifted within HTA's budget from money that would have been spent on non-marketing initiatives, according to the governor's office.

Lingle and Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona are planning separate trips to Asia in November to promote the state's tourist industry; there is discussion about similar trips to California as well.

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