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Visitor arrivals to Hawaii fall for first time in 2 years

By Allison Schaefers

LAST UPDATED: 11:50 a.m. HST, Oct 31, 2013

Total visitor arrivals to Hawaii in September fell for the first time in two years as arrivals from the U.S. declined.

International tourist gains helped to contain the year-over-year dip to 1 percent and bring total arrivals in September to 594,181, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Arrivals from Hawaii's largest U.S. West market fell 5.9 percent and dropped 0.2 percent from U.S. East. However, arrivals rose 2 percent from Japan; 0.2 percent from Canada; 3.2 percent from cruise ships; and 4.8 percent from so-called emerging markets which include China, Korea, Taiwan and Latin America. 

Overall visitor spending also dropped in September to $1.04 billion, a 4.8 percent decline from September 2012. Spending declines from the U.S.West, Japan and cruise ships, were partially offset by gains from all other markets.

"We will continue to monitor the effects of the federal government shutdown and delicate global economy to ensure the sustainability and success of our tourism industry," said Mike McCartney," HTA president and CEO.

Despite the dip in arrivals and spending in September, Hawaii has continued to pace ahead of 2012 in the first three quarters of this year McCartney said. Year-to-date visitor spending rose $11 billion and total visitor arrivals increased 4.5 percent to 6 million. 

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