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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, October 11, 2001

The September 11th attack
Bank economist optimistic about rebound

Associated Press

A Bank of Hawaii report finds cause for optimism concerning the state's ability to rebound from the tourism slump caused by the Sept. 11 terrorism.

 •  Bank of Hawaii report:
Bank of Hawaii chief economist Paul Brewbaker said an interim assessment of Hawaii's daily passenger arrivals for September is encouraging. Arrivals fell 27 percent over the same month a year ago, but Brewbaker noted that the state had been able to recover from a 22.4 percent decline in visitors in February 1991 during the Gulf War.

He said the September 2001 numbers are "remarkable," given the fact that for three days there were virtually no flights to Hawai'i.

Brewbaker noted that passenger arrivals on the Neighbor Islands fell only 4 percent from the previous September. He said air travel to the Neighbor Islands appear to be returning to levels similar to a year ago — the state's strongest tourism year ever.

Before Sept. 11, U.S. airlines had been aggressively adding nonstop flights to the Neighbor Islands, he said. On Kaua'i, Maui and the Big Island scheduled seats increased 35 percent between January and August.

International passenger arrivals fell 40.5 percent in September from a year ago, but daily international arrivals during the first week of October were down 30 percent to 40 percent from the prior year, he said.

Statewide, domestic arrivals fell 20.5 percent in September, virtually identical to the 20 percent decline experienced in February 1991 during the Gulf War, Brewbaker said.