- Associated Press - Friday, August 28, 2015

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - Maui saw a significant increase in visitors in July compared to last year.

Maui News reports (http://bit.ly/1NE0J48 ) that the Hawaii Tourism Authority said Wednesday that there were 243,041 visitors to Maui last month, a 7.6 percent increase compared to July 2014. Those added visitors also spent added dollars, with a total of $387.8 million, up 3.9 percent from the previous year.

Officials attribute the climb to a 12.1 percent increase in airline seats making their way to the island.

Day-trip visits fell by 17.4 percent, but the number of visitors who stayed exclusively on Maui grew by 11.2 percent.

Maui’s tourism growth in July mirrors a statewide trend. Tourism authority president and CEO George Szigeti said new records are expected to be set in Hawaii for arrivals and spending this year.

“The growth we have been experiencing is keeping us on track for another milestone year for Hawaii’s visitor industry,” Szigeti said. “While the growth is not as significant as in previous years, we are still projecting to reach new records in spending and arrivals for 2015.”

Other islands in Maui County did not fare as well, with Molokai visitors only increasing a modest 2 percent to 5,218 and expenditures dropping 38.4 percent.

In Lanai, there was a 24.5 percent decline in visitors and 81.4 percent drop in visitor spending in July following the start of renovations in June that closed the Four Seasons Resort Lana’i at Manele Bay. The resort is housing workers at its Lodge at Koele.

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Information from: The Maui News, http://www.mauinews.com

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