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Hawaii visitor arrivals up 4.2% in March; Japan down 18%

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 2:41 p.m. HST, Apr 28, 2011

Visitor arrivals to Hawaii increased 4.2 percent in March despite an 18 percent drop in arrivals from Japan.

Hawaii hosted 633.365 visitors last month, the Hawaii Tourism Authority reported today. Those tourists spent $980.7 million, up 11.8 percent from a year ago, the HTA said.

"Arrivals from Japan plunged 17.9 percent compared to last March, due to flight suspensions and trip cancellations following the earthquake and tsunami on March 11. Prior to this devastating event, visitor arrivals from Japan had increased nine out of the last 10 months," the Hawaii Tourism Authority said in a news release.

"As expected, Hawaii saw a decline in arrivals from Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11," said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

"We ... look forward to a strong April and May due to spring break, the Easter holiday and scheduled charter flights from Japan for Golden Week," McCartney added. "The HTA will remain focused on our strategic direction and will continue to monitor the Japan market as well as other global conditions, such as the rise in oil prices which will have an effect on our state's economic recovery."

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