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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 4, 2001

Hawai'i still top spot for Japan's springtime honeymooners

By Michele Kayal
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawai'i will be the No. 1 honeymoon spot for Japan's springtime brides for the third year in a row, according to a report released today by Japan Travel Bureau.

Hawai'i now holds a 34 percent share of overseas honeymoons, the survey of about 2,700 couples showed, a 6.7 percent gain over last year. And nearly 60 percent of Japanese couples getting married between March and May chose Hawai'i for their overseas wedding.

The good news comes at a time when Hawai'i tour operators and hoteliers have begun to worry that the tail end of this year may drag down gains made in 2000.

The Japanese market is of major concern, JTB and local executives have said, with some retailers predicting that sales will decline by at least 10 percent.

The Neighbor Islands showed a roughly 3 percent gain in the annual JTB survey, accounting for 10 percent of total Hawai'i honeymoons by Japanese couples. Maui went from 13th place on the list of most popular destinations last year to seventh place, and the Big Island climbed from 35th place to 17th.

But mixed signals also showed in the research. Average spending per Japanese couple shrank about 8 percent to $3,683.

Hawai'i honeymooners spent about $2,550 on average, compared to $5,300 for Europe, and $1,383 for Guam, the highest and lowest figures in the survey respectively.

Guam jumped from 11th place in last year's survey to third place this year, for an 11 percent share of the honeymoon market.

The U.S. Mainland took second place, with Las Vegas as a leading attraction. Half of all Mainland honeymooners visited Las Vegas.