Chinese tourism to Hawaii expected to increase

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Tourism experts are expecting a substantial influx of Chinese visitors to Hawaii.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald says the boost is expected as a gateway between China and Hawaii continues to open up.

Big Island Visitors Bureau director Ross Birch says Asian markets have seen enormous increases in the last few years.

Birch says the Japanese market took nearly 20 years to develop, and Chinese tourism in Hawaii is expected to develop much more quickly.

Air China is launching its inaugural nonstop service between Beijing and Honolulu three times a week.

China Eastern Airlines has added more flights to Honolulu, for a total of five weekly flights out of Shanghai.

Hawaiian Airlines plans to begin its own nonstop service between Honolulu and Beijing in April.

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