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State tourism sees more visitor arrivals and higher spending in June

StockSnap from Pixabay

Nearly 850,000 visitors came to the islands in June, spending $1.8 billion. Last month's visitor arrivals are lower than June 2019. However, spending was up 12%.

That's according to the latest monthly report from the state Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism highlighting visitor arrivals and spending.

A majority of June's travelers came from the continental U.S. Most from the West Coast, followed by the East Coast.

However, June marked the reopening of Japanese air routes, with the return of ANA flights to Honolulu. Nearly 12,000 Japanese visitors came to the islands — a 40% boost compared to May.

More routes are expected to reopen between Hawaiʻi and Japan, with Japan Airlines set to return service to Kailua-Kona next week.

So far this year, visitor spending rose 4.2% — totaling $9.23 billion — compared to the $8.86 billion visitors spent in the first half of 2019.

Visitor arrivals in the first six months totaled 4.4 million, which is 14.3% below 2019 levels.

"We are seeing positive movement into the second half of the year with the return of visitors from outside the U.S.," said Mike McCartney, director of DBEDT.

"We continue to be optimistic in the recovery of the visitor industry for the prosperity of our communities and businesses but know that with the reach of the Omicron's new variant, the visitor industry's healthy return can easily be impacted."

Casey Harlow was an HPR reporter and occasionally filled in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
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