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Hawaii County Council chair wants US tourists

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HILO >> Hawaii County Council Chairman Dominic Yagong wants the county to spend $1 million to lure mainland tourists to the Big Island to fill a gap created by declines in Japanese visitors.

West Hawaii Today reported Yagong declined to say during a budget briefing Tuesday where the $1 million would be shifted from.

But he asked the county Research and Development Director Randy Kurohara to submit a plan targeting areas on the mainland that send the most tourists to the island.

Kurohara says he’ll work with tourism industry representatives to develop a plan but any marketing effort wouldn’t take effect until after the new fiscal year begins July 1.

Japanese travel to Hawaii has dropped after earthquakes and tsunamis hit the northeastern part of the country on March 11.



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