Number of visitors to Hawaii climbs to record high 8.28 million last year; spending climbs

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HONOLULU — The Hawaii Tourism Authority says a record 8.28 million travelers came to the islands last year, up more than 1 percent from the previous year.

The agency said Thursday visitors spent a record $14.75 billion while in Hawaii.

More travelers came from North America and smaller international markets like China and Australia.

But the tourism authority says fewer visitors came from Japan, which is the state's biggest source of overseas travelers. The agency attributed this to an unstable economy in Japan and a weakening yen, which makes vacationing abroad more expensive for Japanese travelers.

Tourism authority CEO Ronald Williams says the agency will work with industry partners to enhance Hawaii experiences. He says it will work with government officials and community members to balance the needs of residents and the industry.

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