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Gazette Premium Content Hawaii tourism industry continues to decline

Associated Press Updated: May 29, 2014 at 8:46 pm

HONOLULU (AP) — Visitors to Hawaii spent $1.1 billion in April — or 2.2 percent less than they spent during the same month last year.

About the same number of travelers came to the islands at nearly 640,000 people.

Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO Mike McCartney said Thursday the agency believes the tourism industry will continue to slow down during the next couple of months.

He says growing competition, the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against international currencies and other economic conditions are holding down the number of people who come to Hawaii and how much they spend here.

To diversify, the agency says it's promoting Hawaii in markets like Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Taiwan and Latin America.

The number of visitors to Hawaii hit a record the past two years.

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