Marathon spending exceeds $106 million

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Largely due to a 30-year high for the yen and increased spending by Japanese tourist runners and walkers, the 2010 Honolulu Marathon accounted for $106,527,449 in spending and generated $5.41 million in state taxes, according to a Hawaii Pacific University study group.

That is more than a $6 million increase over the 2009 impact ($100,076,651) the HPU group reported, and slightly more than the $5.13 million in state taxes generated by the 2009 event. It is the largest impact in the history of the race.

Japanese marathoners spent $342.91 per day during their 2010 marathon stay, a 9 percent increase over 2009.

There were 22,806 entries in the 2010 marathon and 13,492 of them were from Japan. Another 2,221 Japanese participated in the 10-kilometer Race Day Walk which is conducted with the marathon. The Japanese walkers' spending increased by 11 percent over 2009.

Japanese were asked if they planned to spend more this year due to the increase in value of the yen and 94.7 percent responded, "yes," according to the report.

The report also found that visiting marathoner and walker stays increased slightly over 2009.

This is the sixth year in a row that the Honolulu Marathon has generated more than $100 million in economic impact. The 2010 impact was calculated using the Read Formula which is used by the state.

Professor Jerry Agrusa of the HPU Travel Industry Management Dept. led the study, as he has since 2001. His team conducted 1,641 interviews with tourist marathoners. Of those, 1,189 were conducted in Japanese and 452 in English.

Besides the Japanese marathoners, there were 1,389 visiting marathoners from the mainland and 655 from foreign countries other than Japan.

In addition to the Japanese walkers, there were 147 walkers from the mainland and 116 from foreign countries other than Japan.

Agrusa's report said that Japanese travelers are the highest-spending visitors to Hawaii. He said studies show they outspend other tourists by about $100 a day.

The report found a "slight increase" in the number of people accompanying marathoners to Hawaii.

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