A total of 505,676 visitors arrived in Hawaii by air and cruise ship during October, off just 1.7% from the same month last year.

According to preliminary statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, total visitor days for those arriving to the islands by air and cruise decreased 3.3% from October 2008, and the average length of stay by all visitors was 8.95 days, compared with 9.1 days in the same month last year.

Average daily spending by visitors during the month was $179 per person, dropping $6 from October 2008. Year-over-year total expenditures for the month fell 5.2%, to $792.7 million.

"Growth in arrivals from the U.S. West continued to increase for the sixth consecutive month," Mike McCartney, president and CEO for the Hawaii Tourism Authority, said in a statement. "Arrivals from Japan also have continued an upward trend showing an increase for the second consecutive month. We are especially pleased with these results because we have been focusing our attention on these two markets and our marketing efforts by our marketing partners, Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and Hawaii Tourism Japan, seem to be having a strong impact."

Among Hawaii's top four visitor markets, arrivals by air from the U.S. West climbed 2.5% year over year while Japanese visitor totals increased 2.6%. Arrivals from the U.S. East, however, dropped 2.9% from last October's figures, and those from Canada remained essentially unchanged, inching up 0.5% from 2008.

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