State sees arrivals growing 7% in 2004

State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism officials see visitor arrivals growing by over 7 percent next year, according to DBEDT’s most recent forecast.

This year, though, because of war with Iraq and the impact of Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), DBEDT officials are projecting lower-than-anticipated visitor-arrival growth, especially from Asian countries.

Some 6.5 million in total visitors are expected this year, and nearly seven million next year, a jump of 7.3 percent.

This year’s total, recently revised, is expected to be just 0.5 percent ahead of last year’s total.

“Hawaii’s underlying economy has been showing positive gains this year,” said Theodore E. “Ted” Liu, DBEDT director.

“These gains have been helped along by very strong construction and real-estate activity, which has buoyed other areas of the economy,” Liu said.

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