Posted at 12:11 p.m., Thursday, July 28, 2005
Visitor arrivals hit record in June
Hawai'i saw 651,639 visitors last month, up 5.5 percent over June 2004. Tourists on average spent slightly less daily and per trip, but the increase in visitors helped push total visitor expenditures up 3.7 percent to $1 billion.
"June's continued strong performance, from both the domestic and international markets, is unprecedented," said state Tourism Liaison Marsha Wienert. "We are definitely on pace to break all records in arrivals, visitor days and visitor spending."
Visitor arrivals for the first half of this year totaled nearly 3.6 million, a mid-year record. The state has projected a record 7.3 million visitors to Hawai'i this year, beating the current high-water mark of 6.95 million reached in 2000.
The number of U.S. West visitors in June grew 7.9 percent to 279,054 while U.S. East tourist arrivals grew 4.9 percent to 181,884.
Japanese arrivals rose slightly by 0.9 percent to 123,858. Canadian visitors totaled 7,545, a 5.8 percent decrease.
Cruise ship passengers so far this year totaled 128,439, a 31 percent growth over the same period last year. The visitors were aboard two Hawai'i-based ships, the Norwegian Wind and the Pride of Aloha, and 30 out-of-state cruise ships. Last year one Hawai'i home-ported ship, the Norwegian Star, and 36 out-of-state cruise ships toured the Islands.
New deep seawater bottler opens Kona plant
A new bottling plant is ready to ramp up to full production at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai'i in Kona, becoming the second bottling operating there to tap consumer demand for desalinated deep seawater.
The $5 million Deep SeaWater International Inc. plant marked its grand opening this week. The 7,500-square-foot plant will produce bottled water it will market under a "Kona Deep" label, and will employ 25 people when it is at full production, said Jeff L. Smith, chief operating officer.
It will produce 40,000 bottles of water per shift, and the company has plans to put up a much larger 80,000 square-foot plant with far more capacity next year, Smith said.
Deep SeaWater plans is to open major new markets for desalinated deep seawater in the US. mainland, something that hasn't been done before. The market today is in Japan, but Smith said he has "strong demonstrated interest" from the mainland.
The plant is initially using water pumped from a depth of 2,000 feet, and will shift to water from 3,000 feet when the energy lab begins supplying the deeper water later this year, Smith said.