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Visitor arrivals up 12% in January, spending up 20%

By Allison Schaefers

LAST UPDATED: 04:38 p.m. HST, Feb 24, 2011

Hawaii achieved its eleventh consecutive month of increased visitor spending and arrivals in January, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

A high-single digit increase from the U.S. East and double-digit arrivals growth from the U.S. West, Japan, Canada and cruise ships helped boost visitor arrivals last month to 597,487, up 12.2 percent from a year ago. Likewise, visitor spending rose to $1.2 billion, a 19.8 percent gain from the prior year. January’s gain represented the 9th consecutive month of double-digit increases in overall spending.

The return of the Pro Bowl coupled with a slight pickup in meetings, convention and incentive traffic were behind the industry rebound, said Mike McCartney, HTA’s president and CEO. Stronger airplane passenger loads and increased flights also contributed, McCartney said.

“We look forward to taking advantage of rebounds in this market, as well as continued growth and interest in Hawaii as a global meetings destination as we draw closer to hosting the 2011 APEC Leaders Summit in November,” he said.

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