- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 29, 2010

HONOLULU (AP) — Spending in Hawaii by tourists and other visitors in November skyrocketed by almost a third compared to a year ago.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported Tuesday that visitor spending last month hit $976 million — a jump of nearly $228 million, or more than 30 percent, over the same month in 2009.

The increase also represented the third consecutive month that total visitor spending increased by double digits statewide.

An 18 percent jump in visitor arrivals to the islands contributed to the higher spending.

Authority President Mike McCartney says Hawaii is well ahead of competing destinations, such as Mexico and the Caribbean.

But he says the state’s tourism sector has a long way to go to offset declines over the last two years.

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