Hawaii spending by visitors drops 3.5 percent

HONOLULU (AP) - Spending by visitors in Hawaii fell by 3.5 percent in March compared with the same month one year ago to $1.2 billion.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority said Monday the number of travelers to Hawaii dropped by 5.2 percent to fewer than 729,000 visitors.

CEO Mike McCartney says the state tourism agency has been anticipating slower growth following two record-breaking years for the industry.

He says the outlook for the summer is strong, but the fall season should be challenging.

Travelers from the state's biggest market led the declines.

There were 9.2 percent fewer visitors to Hawaii from the western region of the U.S. in March. They also spent 14 percent less money while here.

About 2 percent more Japanese visitors came to Hawaii, but spending by Japanese declined 0.6 percent.

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