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Oahu

Tourism in Hawaii has strong start in 2013

The tourism industry in Hawaii has got off to a good start in 2013 with visitor spending up 6 per cent from the same period last year in January. Visitors to the Aloha State are spending around $46 million a day, according to recent reports.

Tourists spent a total of $1.4 billion in January, a large increase on the $77 million visitors spent in January last year. It seems people are flocking to the islands to enjoy Hawaii’s guaranteed sun, sea and sand, but it’s not just the tourists that are benefiting, tourism brings in around $1.5 billion in state taxes each year in Hawaii.

"We're very fortunate that Hawaii continues to have positive momentum," said Mike McCartney, president and chief executive officer of the Hawaii Tourism Authority."It brings in about $1.5 billion in state taxes. That money goes to pay teachers, it goes to pay lifeguards, it goes to pay all the government services that we have."

However, Mr McCartney has stressed that even though tourism is up, there is still more that can be done to increase hotel occupancy. Hotel occupancy in Hawaii is currently at a steady 70 per cent and the Hawaii Tourism Authority wants to bring that number up in 2013. Speaking on the opportunity to draw in more visitors, Mr McCartney stressed that Hawaii has “954 flights per week from 53 different cities around the world," to take advantage of.

“We want people to travel from the Neighbour Islands to Oahu. We want Oahu to travel to the Neighbour Islands," said George Szigeti of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism association. "That's a big part of our hotel business, our kamaaina and our local people,” he added.

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