Honolulu's Iolani Palace, the only official residence of royalty in the U.S., welcomed 80,362 visitors in 2009, the most ever at the destination and an increase of 4.5% from last year.

Ticket revenues totaled $930,580 for the year, the highest figure since the landmark reopened for public tours in 1978.

"Thanks to funding support totaling $200,000 from the Hawaii Tourism Authority over the past few years, our numbers have been steadily growing," said Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director of the Friends of Iolani Palace. "This is the direct result of our aggressive marketing and public relations campaign to promote Iolani Palace's royal heritage.

"Expanding our tour hours to include Mondays is a logical step, not only financially but also in providing residents and visitors another opportunity to see and learn more about Hawaiian history," Chu added.

The Iolani Palace is now open Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For full details about tour options and prices, visit www.iolanipalace.org.

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