InsightHawaii visitors spent $972.5 million across the Aloha State in November, an increase of 8.2%, or $73.5 million, over the same month in 2010.

November arrivals were also strong, climbing 2.6% year over year, to a total 566,672 visitors, according to preliminary figures released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA).

"The HTA's focus on Asia and emerging markets is paying off with growth in visitor spending and arrivals from Asia, including Korea, China and Japan," HTA President and CEO Mike McCartney said in a statement. "In November, air seat capacity from Japan increased 10.5% due to increased service and an additional 5,796 charter seats to Hawaii. The average daily spending from Japanese visitors also increased, resulting in a 20% growth in visitor expenditures."

Japanese arrivals were up 4.7% in November, the third consecutive month of growth from a market that posted a string of sharp declines following last spring's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Visitor totals were up, in fact, from all four of Hawaii's largest sources markets, including a slight increase of less than 1% from the U.S. West, the 2% climb from the U.S. East and a 5.1% boost from Canada.

Total average daily spending was $186 per person, up 4% from November 2010.

"Continued growth in visitor spending is a strong indication that Hawaii's tourism economy is improving," McCartney said. "Spending rose 15.1%, to $11.3 billion, during the first 11 months of 2011, and we anticipate ending this year with year-over-year growth in visitor expenditures."

Year to date through November, total arrivals to Hawaii climbed 3.4%, to a total of 6,600,776 visitors, and total visitor days were up 4.9% year over year.

McCartney also noted that the overall economic impact of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Week, hosted by President in Obama in Honolulu Nov. 7 to 13, was still being analyzed and said the HTA's visitor data for the month did not include APEC attendees who arrived by private plane or government transportation or the costs of a range of related expenses, such as security, private parties and equipment rentals.

"The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders' Week provided an outstanding opportunity to promote Hawaii as a global meetings destination and highlighted the Hawaiian Islands' centralized location in the Asia-Pacific region," McCartney said. "Recent increases in arrivals and spending from Japan and other countries in Asia are indicators of the significance of the Asia-Pacific region and the potential long-term impact that APEC will have on our community."
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