Hawaii to spend $3M in wake of Japan tourism fall

AP News
Posted: Mar 23, 2011 8:39 PM

Hawaii tourism officials expecting sharp declines in travelers from Japan have approved using $3 million in reserve funds.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority said Wednesday it voted to use money from special reserves to offset a tourism shortfall in the wake of the earthquake in Japan. Officials predict as much as a 45 percent drop in visitors.

They plan to use the money to increase visitors in other markets. The plan includes increasing flights from Korea and China and sending a tourism delegation to Japan.

Hawaii is the top U.S. destination for the Japanese, hosting more than 1.2 million of the 16.6 million total outbound tourists last year. Visitors from Japan poured about $1.9 billion into Hawaii in 2010.