Dengue fever outbreak doesn't slow Hawaii tourism

Dengue fever outbreak doesn't slow Hawaii tourism

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - State tourism statistics show that Hawaii had a record start to 2016 with nearly 721,000 visitors, despite dealing with the dengue fever outbreak on the state's biggest island.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority says January 2016 figures grew by more than 6 percent from the same month last year. The Big Island also saw an increase of nearly 4 percent during that time.

The growth in tourism comes as the Big Island has been trying to stop the spread of dengue fever. There have been 260 reported cases of the mosquito-borne virus since September.

The executive director of the Big Island Visitors Bureau, Ross Birch, says public outreach efforts have helped tourists feel safe about visiting Hawaii.

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