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Hawaii visitor arrivals hits record high in August; spending and arrivals outpace 2014


HONOLULU — A record number of people flew to the Hawaiian Islands in August.

The number of air arrivals grew to more than 755,800 visitors last month, nearly 3 percent more than the same time last year, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

"In addition to pacing at record-breaking levels, air seats to the Hawaiian Islands are at an all-time high, boosting arrivals from most of our markets," said George Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, in a statement.

The growth was led by visitors from the other U.S. states, Canada and elsewhere. But the number of visitors from Japan — Hawaii's largest international market — remained relatively flat, growing just 0.5 percent to 157,543 visitors.

The Aloha State's tourism industry has been exceeding 2014 records in both spending and arrivals. Arrivals were up 4 percent so far this year. Maui saw the greatest growth in arrivals, with a 5.3 percent increase.

Spending rose 3 percent to $10.3 billion in the first eight months of the year, contributing $1.1 billion in state tax revenue.

Even so, total visitor spending was relatively flat in August at $1.3 billion. Visitors from Japan spent 8 percent less than the same time last year, and those from the eastern United States spent 2.5 percent less. Meanwhile, Canadian visitors spent nearly 7 percent more than they did last year.

Tourism officials are monitoring conditions that could impact the industry.

"Fuel prices have been dropping, the international stock market continues to be in flux, and economic conditions in both Europe and Asia have been unstable," Szigeti said. "All of these factors could have a potential impact on spending and arrivals to the state."

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