Tourism Officials Hopeful New Bill Will Bring More Money

Rex Johnson
Rex Johnson
Terry O'Toole
Terry O'Toole

(KHNL) - Preparations are underway at the Hawaii Convention Center for the American Bar Association's national convention later this week.

It's the type of business that Hawaii's tourism industry loves.

"The business spenders are the #2 spenders right behind weddings," explained Rex Johnson with the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Tourism officials hope a new bill will help bring in more people to Hawaii for business.

The U.S. House approved a measure that would allow a spouse to deduct travel expenses when accompanying a partner on a business trip.

Hawaii has always been an easy sell as a vacation destination but lawmakers hope this bill will make it a top choice for conventions."

"Hawaii is still a tough sell for business aspect just because people have the feeling that you only go to Hawaii for vacation. It could only help our business side of the visitor industry," said Johnson.

Local attorney Terry O'Toole will be at the convention this week.

He says while many of his colleagues from the mainland plan to bring family, this proposal would give them more reason to travel to the islands for business.

"It would be certainly be an incentive because I do take my wife. I think what you're going to find is a lot of people who might not otherwise think about taking their family or spouse if that's the case, would certainly be inclined to do it than not," said O'Toole.