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Visitor spending jumps 10 percent

Visitor spending jumps 10 percent

LIHUE — Spending by visitors to Hawaii jumped 10 percent last month compared to the same month, January, of last year.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority said Tuesday visitor spending hit $1.6 billion in January.

The number of visitors to Hawaii rose nearly five percent to more than 750,000.

Kauai saw 99,315 visitors in January, a 4.4 percent increase from January 2016. Visitor spending climbed to $186.5 million in January, a 21.8 percent increase from the same month last year.

Spending by Japanese travelers surged more than 26 percent. Spending by U.S. western region visitors climbed nearly 20 percent.

Tourism authority CEO George Szigeti says Hawaiian Airlines’ new nonstop route from Tokyo to Kailua-Kona has provided a tremendous boost to the Big Island. The agency says Japanese travel to the Big Island rose more than 30 percent in January.

Hawaii has welcomed a record number of travelers each year for the past five years. State economists are forecasting arrivals will rise 1.5 percent in 2017.

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The Garden Island

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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