Hawaii tourism was down 4.5% in 2009
HONOLULU — Last year was disappointing for Hawaii’s tourism industry, but 2009 ended on a positive note.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported Tuesday that the state welcomed 6.5 million visitors in 2009, a 4.5 percent decline from 2008.
It says visitors arriving by air spent $9.9 billion last year, a decrease of $1.3 billion, or 11.7 percent, from the year before.
The year 2009 closed with 577,657 people coming to Hawaii last month, a 2.4 percent increase over December 2008.
Visitor expenditures last month amounted to $955.2 million, a $5 million, or 0.5 percent, increase over the previous December.
Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO Mike McCartney says 2009 presented Hawaii’s visitor industry with many challenges, but ended with positive indicators leading into the new year.