The Aloha State set new visitor arrivals and spending highs in September, bolstered by a substantial increase in meetings, conventions and incentive travel.

Hawaii welcomed more than 666,000 travelers during the month, climbing 3% year over year and reaching a new all-time September high, according to preliminary estimates released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) Oct. 27.

Meanwhile, visitors spent $1.2 billion across Hawaii during the month, a surge of more than 10.4% that also set a new September peak for the destination.

The new September record highs were certainly boosted by meetings/incentives business, which doubled year over year, thanks in part to the 9,000-delegate IUCN World Conservation Congress, the 11,000-delegate CPCU Convention of Insurance Underwriters and the annual Hawaii Tourism Conference.

"A strong September highlighted by new records for the month in visitor arrivals and spending means the first three quarters of 2016 was the best ever for our tourism industry, and keeps Hawaii ahead of pace to set new annual records," George Szigeti, the HTA's president and CEO, said in a statement.

Through the first nine months of 2016, total visitor arrivals to Hawaii climbed 2.6%, to nearly 6.7 million, and spending increased 3.7%, to more than $11.6 billion.
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