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Hawaii’s tourism economy continued to grow in April 2011, according to statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
Total expenditures by visitors who came to Hawaii in the first four months of 2011 rose 17.8 percent, compared to the same period last year. This represents the twelfth consecutive month of double-digit increases in overall visitor spending.
Total visitor days increased 10.9 percent, and total arrivals grew 8.9 percent.
"This sustained momentum is being experienced on all islands, with arrivals and expenditures currently on pace with our peak years of 2006 and 2007," said Hawaii Tourism Authority president Mike McCartney.
Contributing to the strong month were increases from other Hawaii major market areas that more than offset the decreased numbers from Japan following its recent earthquake and tsunami. The meetings, conventions and incentives market also continued to rebound and experienced a boost from the American Academy of Neurology with more than 9,000 delegates and an estimated 72,630 room nights.
HTA predictions call for equally strong figures in May 2011 thanks to Golden Week charter flights, the beginning of summer travel and the estimated 80,000 room nights generated by the American Psychiatric Association meeting held at the Hawaii Convention Center.
"We also expect our diversified marketing efforts in China, Korea, Oceania and North America to create demand and maintain airlift, attracting increased visitors and their spending to our islands," said McCartney.
While Hawaii’s tourism economy is continuing its recovery, McCartney said it's important to be mindful of the effects of fluctuating oil prices, fuel surcharges, natural disasters and the many other impacts that can affect discretionary spending by leisure and business travelers.
"As a result, the Hawaii Tourism Authority remains committed to implementing our strategic plans and investing in our people, our place and our culture to help preserve jobs and ensure the vitality of Hawaii tourism," he said.