Is Hawai‘i’s economic break finally coming?

I spent a couple of hours cruising around Waikiki Sunday after my grandson’s touch football game at Kapiolani Park and it was good to see the place thick with visitors for the Memorial Day weekend.

The latest visitor count confirms what my eyeballs observed — that we’re not taking nearly as big a hit as projected from the Sendai earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Japanese visitors are down, but only by about half as much as initially projected and those who come are spending more than they did last year.

The drop in the Japanese count is being more than made up for by an increase in visitors from the U.S. mainland and other emerging markets, who are also spending more than they did last year.

Could it be we’re finally starting to catch a break after all the years of economic morass?

If so, the state budget should start getting a lot easier to balance. Actually, tax revenues were already showing signs of recovery this year except for having to repay the income tax refunds that former Gov. Linda Lingle deferred from last year.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie probably could have gotten away with deferring the refunds another year to ease this year’s budget drama, but he made a gutsy call to take the medicine now so we’ll get the full benefit of the recovery when it comes.

If the visitor numbers hold, he could be rewarded next year with a few bucks to start funding his “new day” initiatives.

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2 Comments on “Is Hawai‘i’s economic break finally coming?”

  1. Richard Gozinya Says:

    Remember that it’s just as we think things look their darkest that they turn completely black.

  2. zzzzzz Says:

    Another crisis wasted.

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