Hawaii visitor arrivals, spending keep rising

Associated Press Modified: October 30, 2012 at 9:16 pm •  Published: October 30, 2012

HONOLULU (AP) — The number of visitors to Hawaii during the first nine months of the year climber nearly 10 percent from a year earlier, state tourism officials said Tuesday as they vowed to pursue their target of bringing a record 7.9 million tourists to the islands in 2012.

Nearly 6 million visitors have come to the islands as of the end of September, the Hawaii Tourism Authority said. They spent $10.7 billion while they were here, nearly 20 percent more than travelers spent last year.

Measured month-to-month, growth has slowed. But Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO Mike McCartney said the agency was pleased to see traveler spending hasn't weakened.

The industry's momentum should continue as several airlines add new routes to the islands, McCartney said. The flights include Hawaiian Airlines' new flight from Honolulu to Sapporo, Japan, and Jetstar's route between Honolulu and Melbourne, Australia.

"These new routes are all servicing secondary cities, which will provide greater ease of access for visitors to come to the Hawaiian Islands," McCartney said in a statement.

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