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Hawaii visitor spending declines in first quarter as travelers trim budgets; arrivals up

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HONOLULU — Visitor spending declined slightly in Hawaii during the first quarter of the year as the stronger dollar prompted Japanese visitors to trim their budgets.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority said Friday visitors spent $3.8 billion from January through March, down 1.3 percent from the same quarter last year.

But the number of travelers coming to Hawaii rose. Visitor arrivals climbed 3 percent to over 2.1 million.

Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO Ronald Williams says the agency is working on promotions to ease the cost of travel to Hawaii given the U.S. dollar remains strong.

A stronger dollar makes it more expensive for Japanese travelers to visit the islands.

The dollar was trading at around 120 yen during the first quarter, compared to nearly 100 yen during the first three months of 2014.

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