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Tourism rebound fuels better-than-expected economic recovery

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A rapidly rebounding tourism sector will drive a faster-than-expected recovery in Hawaii’s economy, according to a state forecast released today.

Visitor arrivals are expected to reach 7.02 million this year, up from the previous forecast of 6.81 million delivered three months ago, the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism reported in its quarterly outlook for the economy.

After falling by double digits in 2008 and 2009 visitor spending is expected to rise by 14.8 percent in 2010 and 8.4 percent in 2011, DBEDT reported.

That will help fuel a 1.4 percent increase in the state’s inflation-adjusted gross domestic product, up from the 1.2 percent rise forecast three months ago.

“We are happy to see that most of the economic indicators in our state showed positive growth during the third quarter of this year,” said Ted Liu, DBEDT director.
“The growth of our two largest industries, tourism and federal government, is very healthy.”

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