HONOLULU (AP) - Tourism officials say travelers to Hawaii spent nearly 5 percent less last month than the same period a year earlier. The decline marks the fifth straight month of lower visitor spending.
Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO Mike McCartney said in a statement Thursday says the tourism economy is starting to plateau after two years of record-breaking growth.
He says fluctuating exchange rates, growing competition and the increasing cost of a Hawaiian vacation all contributed to the spending drop. He says the trend should continue for the first half of the year.
The agency says fewer visitors came to Hawaii from the U.S. mainland. More travelers from Japan arrived, but the average Japanese visitor spent about 7 percent less during their stay.
The total number of visitors to Hawaii was almost unchanged.