First five months of arrivalsto Kaua’i tops state in growth

LIHU’E — The island’s growth of 3.7 percent in visitor arrivals for the first

five months of this year is the strongest jump in the state among the

counties.

For the first five months of this year, 440,873 people visited

the island, compared to 424,951 for the same period last year.

Buoyed by a

51 percent increase in numbers of visitors arriving from Japan, Kaua’i in May

welcomed 91,863 visitors, an increase of 5.4 percent compared to the same month

last year and the largest number for that month since 1992, when the island

greeted 97,680 visitors.

The figures are as reported by the state

Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT).

The

island hosted 15,705 international visitors in May, 2000 — 11,780 from Japan

— with the international total up 57.5 percent from the same month a year

ago.

Statewide, the 554,641 visitors arriving in May marked an all-time

high for that month, prompting the DBEDT to predict, based on expected strong

summer numbers, “the probability of a record-breaking year.”

Also

statewide, May marks the fourth straight month of record arrivals.

“These

are very significant increases, indicating a very positive trend for one of

Hawai’i’s primary industries,” said DBEDT Director Dr. Seiji Naya.

“Hawai’i

is clearly enjoying a resurgence as a visitor destination. The effect is going

to be positive for all sectors of our economy,” Naya commented.

Kaua’i

greeted 30,922 visitors who chose to come only to this island in May, about the

same as came only to Kaua’i in May of 1999.

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