Hawaii Tourism Authority Braces for Economic Impact of Tsunami

While tourism to Hawaii saw signs of positive recovery in February, with total visitor spending up by 18.7 percent, the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) is anticipating a decline in visitor numbers due to the impact of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, one of its key visitor source markets.

“The results [of visitor spending in February] were especially significant because the $1 billion in spending surpassed the amount spent during the peak year of 2007 and year-to-date expenditures were up 19.3 percent,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA.

“Clearly, we realize that this changed with the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan,” said McCartney. “Our first priority is to offer our support and stand in unity with the people of Japan … We also realize that our community is very interested in what can be done to respond to the anticipated decline in visitors from Japan and other markets due to the disaster.”

To overcome upcoming economic challenges and an anticipated drop in the number of visitors from Japan, the HTA has launched an HTA Economic Recovery Plan that includes the approval of more than $3 million in funds to target growth from other major source markets. These areas include China, Korea, Australia and New Zealand. The HTA also remains committed to working with its travel partners in Japan to stabilize the Japanese visitor market.

Visit www.HawaiiTourismAuthority.org.


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