East Hawaii News

Gov. Ige Visits Japan to Promote Hawai’i Tourism

June 15, 2015, 12:08 PM HST
* Updated June 15, 12:09 PM
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In an effort to promote the travel industry and increase travel from Japan to the Hawaiian Islands, Governor Ige will spend his week in Japan, meeting government officials and members of the travel industry.

Governor Ige’s trip will consist of a visit with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and the Minister of Tourism. His meetings include discussion about pre-clearance of flights from Japan to the United States, which would ease access to Hawai’i.

Travel to the islands for meetings, conventions, and incentive travel will be discussed during Governor Ige’s week-long Japan visit, as he meets with a variety of travel partners, including those from airlines, travel agents, wholesalers, corporations, and businesses.

“We want the people of Japan to know that the people of Hawai‘i welcome them to the Hawaiian Islands. Japan is Hawai‘i’s biggest international market, accounting for 47.5 percent of international travelers to Hawai‘i and the trip is an investment in that relationship,” said Governor Ige. “Japan and Hawai‘i enjoy a special connection, and I want to honor this enduring relationship. As a new governor, I intend to assure our partners that we appreciate them and will continue to work with them to strengthen the cultural, social and economic bonds we share.”

As Hawai’i’s biggest international market, over 1.5 million visitors come to Hawai’i annually. Eighteen flights fly in daily, and over $2.4 million is spent by Japanese visitors yearly, accounting for $257 million in state tax revenues.

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Along with Governor Ige, Hawai’i Tourism Authority’s Japan marketing partner, Chief of Staff Mike McCartney, and Scott Tome, Executive Assistant. They will return to Hawai’i on Friday, June 19.

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The Office of the Governor says the trip will costs $9,800 and includes air, hotel, and ground transportation.

While Governor Ige is away, Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui will take the role as Acting Governor.

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