How Japan’s recession could affect Hawaii - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

How Japan’s recession could affect Hawaii

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - "We're concerned right now with the economic situation in Japan, they're in a recession," said Les Enderton, Executive Director of the Oahu Tourism Bureau. As concerned as Enderton is, he maintains a level of guarded optimism for fiscal year 2015.

He positioned Japanese visitor spending; "It's not going to drop off, it's simply going to correct downward a bit".

Enderton also thinks Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's re-election and proposed 25 billion (US dollars) stimulus could bolster consumer confidence. That could mean continued spending. Hawaii Tourism Japan is doing its part as well. Managing Director Eric Takahata said HTJ is working with airlines to make it more affordable to travel to the islands.

"Mileage discount programs will be implemented with Japan Airlines, and others, such as Delta and Korean" he noted.

The low price of oil - which damaged to the Nikei index - could be good for the public, as airfares drop with operating costs.

"We expect to see airfares to correct, slightly--not overnight. We will see some better airfares in the future in North America, Japan and other international travel to Hawaii" said Enderton.

The effects of Japan's recession are tough to spot right now. Participation rates in the just run Honolulu marathon were the virtually the same as last year. However, as Enderton explains, it's because those travel packages were bought months ago.

"I think you might see it slow down a bit as we get into the 2nd quarter and beyond."

So how does Ednerton think Hawaii can endure Japan's economic slowdown?

"Basically just show them the right product, adjust our pricing when necessary, just do everything we can to get them here, then give them a great experience when they are here".

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