Pacific Business News - The Hawai'i Tourism Authority and the Japan Association of Travel Agents have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that aims to boost the number of Japanese visitors to Hawai'i to two million by 2016.
The two agencies plan to launch an initiative on Jan. 1 to promote Hawai'i as a destination. Reaching the two million mark would mean an estimated $4 billion in annual visitor spending and $440 million in state tax revenue, they said.
Approximately 1.35 million travelers from Japan are expected to visit Hawai'i this year, and HTA officials have said they expect that number to rise to 1.4 million in 2013.
"This MOU represents more than a business relationship and affecting the bottom line," HTA President and CEO Mike McCartney said in a statement. "The MOU is a natural partnership between the HTA and JATA that reflects and builds upon the historic bond, traditions, cultural heritages and long-term relationship shared between Hawai'i and Japan."