Eastbound arrivals increased 10.8 percent, however, that was offset by a drop in westbound arrivals, which fell 1.6 percent from a year earlier, said the HVB yesterday in reporting the final numbers for 1995.
Japan continued to bring in most of the Asian tourists with a record 1.9 million Japanese travelers coming to Hawaii in 1995. That was an increase of 13.8 percent from 1994.
Japan tourists now account for 30 percent of all of Hawaii's visitors, HVB President Paul Casey said. "Record Japanese arrivals were clearly responsible for the growth we experienced in 1995," he said.
Despite Japan's growth in tourists, the number of visitors from other eastern markets, such as Korea, decreased.
Korean tourists fell 7 percent last year vs. 1994 totals, and visitors from Taiwan dropped 15 percent.
Although tourists from the U.S. mainland, Canada and Europe fell, as well, they still continue to be the largest single source of tourists, making up 54 percent of Hawaii's arrivals, Casey said.
Most of HVB's advertising has been aimed at keeping mainland tourists coming to the islands, Casey said.
"As competing destinations target the same U.S. visitors markets we rely on, we simply cannot afford to let our promotional efforts in these markets wane," he said.
In a separate report estimating future visitor numbers, the Japanese travel agency JTB Inc. said the number of Japanese tourists going abroad in July and August this year is likely to reach a record 3.33 million, 8.3 percent more than a year ago.
The most popular overseas destinations are the U.S. mainland, followed by European nations and Hawaii. Indonesia and Hong Kong also are attracting more visitors, according to JTB.
The projection was based on JTB's surveys and reservations made at JTB and airline companies.