'Outstanding' year for Hawaii's tourism industry

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii is seeing a solid recovery in tourism with increases in both arrivals and spending by tourists.

State tourism officials on Monday said Hawaii welcomed 7,284,069 visitors last year, a 3.8% increase over 2010. Spending by tourists in December reached a monthly record $1.3 billion, pushing the year's total to $12.58 billion, just off the yearly record of $12.62 billion set in 2007.

Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, says 2011 was "an outstanding year for Hawaii's tourism economy, with momentum and growth seen across the Hawaiian Islands."

For December, there were 683,293 arrivals, an increase of 7.8%. The tourists spent on average $185 daily per person, up from $169 a year ago.

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