Tourists to Hawaii grow in first half of 2019

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LOS ANGELES, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The number of tourists visiting Hawaii grew through the first half of this year compared to 2018, while their spending decreased by 2 percent, the latest Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) figures showed.

According to preliminary statistics released by HTA, total visitors in the past six months jumped by 4.2 percent to 5,191,523 with an increase in arrivals from air service and cruise ships. In 2018, some 9.9 million visitors flocked to the islands.

Jennifer Chun, HTA's director of tourism research, was quoted by the local Hawaii News Now as saying that the increase rate in visitor arrivals is significant, since if visitor arrivals remain at the pace through the end of the year, Hawaii's visitor arrivals for 2019 will top 10 million, setting a new record.

However, HTA's analysis indicated that the surge of tourists number had some potential problems, for example, even though visitor arrivals by air increased from U.S. West, U.S. East Canada and Japan, but declined from all other international markets.

Moreover, visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of 8.88 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of 2019, a decrease of 2 percent compared to the same period in 2018,

On a statewide level, average daily spending decreased by 3.4 percent to 196 U.S. dollars per person due to lower spending by visitors from all major domestic and international markets. The decline was largely due to decreases in lodging and transportation expenses, HTA said.

The HTA also found that China's mainland market plunged in the first half of this year. Visitor arrivals declined by 27.3 percent to only 59,079 and daily visitor spending declined by 5.2 percent to 328 per person "due to lower spending on shopping, lodging, food and beverage, and entertainment and recreation expenses." Enditem

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