HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Communities near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park lost up to $94 million in economic benefit last year compared to the previous year due to the eruption of Kilauea Volcano.
The Honolulu Star Advertiser reported Sunday that the National Park Service found the Big Island park had 1.1 million visitors who spent $94.1 million in nearby communities in 2018, while more than 2 million visited in 2017 and spent $166 million.
Officials say spending by park visitors in 2018 supported 1,040 jobs in the area and produced a benefit to the local economy of $123 million. The greater spending in 2017 supported 2,020 area jobs and produced an economic benefit of about $222.4 million.
Lava from the Kilauea eruption that began in May 2018 destroyed more than 700 homes.