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Hawaii visitor arrivals rose in August but spending slipped

Dave Segal
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It was a record month for hotel revenue statewide. Visitors enjoy shopping

Hawaii visitor arrivals inched up 2.9 percent in August to a record 755,863 as the state remained on pace to set a record for the fourth consecutive year. 

Spending also is on track for a fourth consecutive record year even though visitor expenditures slipped 0.5 percent to $1.27 billion during the month, according to preliminary data released Monday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. 

"In addition to pacing at record-breaking levels, air seats to the Hawaiian Islands are at an all-time high, boosting arrivals from most of our markets," HTA President and CEO George Szigeti said in a statement. "And while we are pleased with this continued growth for the lead economic driver for the state, we are monitoring various conditions that could impact our industry. 

"Fuel prices have been dropping, the international stock market continues to be in flux, and economic conditions in both Europe and Asia have been unstable. All of these factors could have a potential impact on spending and arrivals to the state." 

Canada had the largest percentage gain as arrivals increased 8.8 percent from the year-earlier period. The "all others" market, which includes Australia, New Zealand, China and South Korea, rose 5.8 percent; U.S. West, the state’s largest market, gained 2.8 percent; U.S. East rose 2.4 percent; and Japan, the largest international market, edged up 0.5 percent. 

Even though Japan arrivals increased, spending from that country dropped 8.2 percent as the country continued to be plagued by a weak yen. U.S. East spending fell 2.5 percent. 

However, Canadian spending increased 6.9 percent; "all others" spending gained 6.1 percent; and U.S. West spending rose 0.8 percent. 

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