WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Despite the possibility the debt crisis in Europe could cast dark shadows by dragging down world economies, tourism executives are optimistic the visitor industry in Hawaii will enjoy a sunny summer.
"We're doing great for the first quarter. Our expenditures, visitor expenditures, are up 14%. Our arrivals are up about 9%," said Mike McCartney, President of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
Airlines are banking on continued growth in tourism during the summer months. They are adding flights to the islands.
Hawaiian Airlines will begin new daily service between Honolulu and New York on June 4. Hawaiian is also adding more flights between Los Angeles and Honolulu and L. A. and Maui. And it is bumping up its interisland capacity 11% over last summer.
"And we have some new flights from United Airlines to Washington D.C. We've got some new flights added from Alaska Airlines," McCartney said.
"Every time we have plenty of flight lift that means we have plenty of opportunity for business here in Hawaii," said David Carey, President and CEO of Outrigger Enterprises which operates ten hotels and resorts in Hawaii.
"I think we could see (hotel) occupancies in the 90's this summer, at least on Oahu. Now the neighbor islands to date haven't been quite as strong, but they've been better than they've been the last couple of years," Carey added.