Number of visitors to Hawaii Island sinks a little, but increases statewide

Number of visitors to Hawaii Island sinks a little, but increases statewide
Visitors in Hawaii. (Image: Hawaii News Now/file)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new report from the Hawaii Tourism Authority says the number of tourists visiting Hawaii Island dwindled last month.

HTA says the number of visitors dropped to just below 5 percent in June. That's compared to the same time in 2017.

Spending by Big Island travelers also went down.

The drop is likely due to the ongoing Kilauea eruption, and a decrease in opportunities to view the lava. The only way to see the flow is by boat and helicopter after safety measures were put in place restricting people from getting too close on land.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has been closed since May because of the potential threat and instability from the volcano. Hawaii County officials are reportedly considering setting up a public lava viewing spot outside the park, but they're having a hard time finding a safe spot accessible to large numbers of people, the Hawaii Associated Press reports.

Despite the dropping numbers on Hawaii Island, statewide, visitor spending and growth went up.

Across the islands, the number of visitors grew to 7.3 percent. Their spending rose 10.3 percent.

The Hawaii Associated Press contributed to this report.

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