Hawaii predicts 1.5% rise in visitors in 2017

Hawaii predicts 1.5% rise in visitors in 2017

HONOLULU — State economists are forecasting the number of visitors to Hawaii will likely rise 1.5% this year.

The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism said Wednesday about 9.1 million travellers are expected to come the islands. This would mark the sixth straight year of record visitor arrivals.

Last year Hawaii’s economy grew 2.1 per cent, faster than the national rate of 1.4%. This year, the state forecasts the economy will expand at a slower rate of 1.8%.

Construction, tourism and health care fueled job gains in 2016, helping drive the unemployment rate down to 2.9% in December. The jobless rate was below 3% in all counties except Hawaii County, where it stood at 3.1%.

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