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Visitor arrivals rose 5.3% and spending jumped 20.2% in April

Japan tourists to the isles decreased 23.5%

By Allison Schaefers

LAST UPDATED: 12:27 p.m. HST, May 31, 2011

About 5.3 percent more visitors came to Hawaii this April than they did during the same month last year and, more importantly, they spent 20.2 percent more this time around. 

The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported today that 581,324 visitors came to Hawaii in April and spent $920.7 million. 

The numbers reflect a sustained momentum that was experienced on all islands, putting arrivals and expenditures on pace with Hawaii's visitor industry's peak years of 2006 and 2007, said Mike McCartney, HTA president and chief executive. 

"This represents the 12th consecutive month of double-digit increases in overall visitor spending," McCartney said.

Strong arrivals from Canada, which climbed 33.7 percent in April, and a 10 percent increase in arrivals from the U.S. West helped offset a 23.5 percent decline in Japan arrivals related to the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent radiation scare. Arrivals from the U.S. East stabilized with a 0.7 percent increase over last April. However, arrivals by cruise ships in April fell 13.3 percent to 13,750 visitors compared to April 2010.

"The meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI) market also continued to rebound and experienced a boost from the American Academy of Neurology with more than 9,000 delegates and an estimated 72,630 room nights," McCartney said.

 For the year ended April, visitor spending rose 17.8 percent to $4.1 billion, while arrivals grew 8.9 percent to 2.4 million visitors. 

"While Hawaii's tourism economy is continuing its recovery, we must all be mindful of the effects of fluctuating oil prices, fuel surcharges, natural disasters and the many other impacts that can and will affect discretionary spending, including both leisure and business travel," McCartney said. 



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