Hawaii breaks visitor record, aided by more flights, weak dollar
(Reuters) - Visits to Hawaii soared to a record high last year, boosted by an increase in flights and a weaker dollar, tourism officials said on Thursday.
Almost 8 million people visited the Aloha State in 2012, more than a third of a million more than the previous record set in 2006 and a rise of 9.6 percent on 2011, the Hawaii Tourism Authority said.
The surge in visitors to the tropical islands - famed for their pounding surf and lush mountains - was matched by a record $14.3 billion in spending, according to preliminary statistics.
As well as being a top holiday destination for U.S. visitors, the islands are also a popular spot for Japanese tourists who accounted for nearly 1.5 million of the state's visitors in 2012 - a 17 percent rise.