Hawaii tourism agency to release industry targets

Howard Dicus in Waikiki for the annual tourism conference with Eric Takahata

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii tourism officials are releasing their goals for the state's biggest industry this year and next year.

Hawaii Tourism Authority executives will discuss the targets at a conference in Honolulu on Thursday.

In March, the agency said it aimed to draw 8.4 million travelers to the islands in 2014. That would be 2.5 percent higher than the record number of visitors who came last year.

But this was less than 8.7 million visitors the agency initially targeted.

On Wednesday, the tourism authority said visitor arrivals rose 0.3 percent during the first seven months of the year to 4.9 million. Spending climbed 2.5 percent to $8.5 billion for the same period.

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