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Hawaii visitor arrivals, spending drop in January; 2015 growth forecast to be flat or slight

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HONOLULU — The Hawaii Tourism Authority says the number of travelers visiting the islands declined 0.6 percent last month over the same month a year ago.

Spending by travelers dropped 2.5 percent.

CEO Ronald Williams attributes the January downturn to a reduction in seats on flights from cities abroad. He also blames the stronger dollar, which makes a Hawaii vacation more expensive for foreign travelers.

Williams said in a statement Thursday an increase in capacity on flights from the mainland countered these declines.

The state tourism agency is forecasting flat or slight growth for the rest of the year.

It plans to launch a new marketing campaign this month to attract travelers from international markets. The campaign will use social media and other online tools to raise awareness about Hawaii.

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