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Off the news

For Friday, April 1, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff


Thank you, Jim Weyman

He’s one of those go-to guys, kept on speed dial by reporters covering a disastrous act of nature. Jim Weyman, the National Weather Service’s Honolulu meteorologist-in-charge and director of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, retired yesterday, with thanks for his cordial and professional demeanor.

In his 15 years in Hawaii and 40 with the federal government — he joined the weather service in the 1990s — Weyman helped guide and advise the islands through a spate of infamous weather systems, including the “40 days and 40 nights” of rain in 2006 and the storm that caused the Manoa floods of 2004.

The winds of change may be taking Weyman into retirement, but not with it, we hope, the level of public commitment from the fine folks who keep vigil at Hawaii’s weather and warning centers.

Get ready for the Chinese

Hawaii’s tourism industry should get ready for what a new study predicts will be ballooning numbers of travelers from China. Still in a young stage, the Chinese market for international travel is expected to grow by 17 percent a year over the next decade, according to the Boston Consulting Group.

But is the travel sector ready? The study’s survey of 4,250 Chinese travelers found that 95 percent claimed they are “poorly served” abroad and within China.

“Most airlines lack signs in Chinese, and restaurants in hotels overseas rarely offer menus in Chinese, Chinese breakfast items or information about Western cuisine and customs,” the study says.

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