Big Events Help Tourism Industry - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Big Events Help Tourism Industry

Geoff Arvites Geoff Arvites
Les Enderton Les Enderton
Honolulu Marathon Honolulu Marathon
U2 Concert U2 Concert
Pearl Harbor 65th Anniversary Pearl Harbor 65th Anniversary

by: Kristine Uyeno

(KHNL) - The local tourism industry will end the year with a bang.

Three big events over the past weekend are helping to boost visitor numbers.

The 65th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U2 concert and the Honolulu Marathon attracted tens of thousands of visitors to Hawaii giving local businesses an early holiday present.

"Oh it was unbelieveably crazy," said Geoff Arvites.

He works at Waikiki Aloe on Kalakaua Avenue. The store sells crocs and other items for your feet.

"We really love our Honolulu Marathon runners, we hope they come back next year," said Arvites.

That's because the influx of visitors helped boost sales by 20-30%.

Sunday's marathon attracted 21,000 runners worldwide, including 16,000 from Japan.

"It's been down this year over 9% and we're just very to see this influx of Japanese tourists at the end of the year. It's just a very strong market for us and a very good sign," said Les Enderton with the Oahu Visitors Bureau.

That wasn't the only destination event. On Saturday, more than 45,000 people packed into Aloha Stadium on Saturday to see U2, making it the biggest concert in local history.

And on Thursday, veterans and their families visited Pearl Harbor for the 65th anniversary. The three events helped local retailers and filled many hotels.

The events over the past few days also attracted a lot of national news coverage. Tourism officials say that kind of promotion is priceless and could bring more visitors to Hawaii.

Tourism experts say visitor arrivals will taper off this week, but pick up next week and remain strong for the rest of the year.

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