Hawaii visitor spending climbs 19% in March

HONOLULU (AP) - Travelers to Hawaii spent $1.17 billion in the islands last month - 19% more than the same month last year.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority says March was the 22nd consecutive month visitor spending has grown. The number of people coming to the islands grew 13% to nearly 715,000.

The authority's CEO, Mike McCartney, said in a statement Thursday the trend should flatten in April. But he's optimistic for a robust second half of the third quarter as airlines launch nonstop flights to Hawaii from New York, Washington, D.C., Fresno, Calif., and Las Vegas.

Travel from South Korea jumped 38% and from China surged 24% - though there were still fewer visitors from both countries than from Hawaii's more established international markets like Japan and Canada.

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