Friday, January 8, 1999

HVCB: Japan
visitors likely below
2 million in 1998

The rate of decline, however,
slowed in November

Star-Bulletin staff


Japanese travelers to Hawaii likely declined to below 2 million last year for the first time since 1995 but the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau found some positive trends in its latest report on that critical market.

In a report issued today, the HVCB said that 149,880 Japanese tourists came to Hawaii in November, down 7 percent from the same month in 1997.

However, the bureau noted, that rate of decline has slowed somewhat; September and October both saw double-digit percentage declines.

Also, the bureau said the length of stay increased slightly in November from the year-ago period.

"Japanese visitor counts continue to suffer from the country's economic crisis," Tony Vericella, HVCB's president and chief executive, said in the report.

"However, the stronger yen and extended-stay options offered by the major wholesalers appear to have contributed to longer stays by Japanese visitors who traveled to Hawaii in November."

Through Nov. 30, Hawaii saw a 5.4 percent drop in Japanese arrivals from the same period last year, the HVCB said. When the final numbers from 1998 are tallied, Japanese arrivals, which account for about 30 percent of all visitors, are expected to be below 2 million, Vericella said. In 1997, Hawaii recorded about 2.09 million Japanese visitors.

The HVCB said it is stepping up its advertising efforts in Japan this year.

E-mail to Business Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin