State predicts 1.5 percent rise in Hawaii visitors in 2017 - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State predicts 1.5 percent rise in Hawaii visitors in 2017

(image: Hawaii News Now) (image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (AP) - State economists are forecasting the number of visitors to Hawaii will likely rise 1.5 percent this year.

The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism said Wednesday about 9.1 million travelers are expected to come the islands. This would mark the sixth straight year of record visitor arrivals.

Last year Hawaii's economy grew 2.1 percent, faster than the national rate of 1.4 percent. This year, the state forecasts the economy will expand at a slower rate of 1.8 percent.

Construction, tourism and health care fueled job gains in 2016, helping drive the unemployment rate down to 2.9 percent in December. The jobless rate was below 3 percent in all counties except Hawaii County, where it stood at 3.1 percent.

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