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Posted: Friday, January 25th, 2013 9:33 AM HST

Record numbers of tourists come to Hawaii in 2012

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) A record number of tourists came to Hawaii last year and spent more money here than ever before.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority said Thursday nearly 8 million travelers visited the islands in 2012 an increase of nearly 10 percent.

This breaks the previous record of 7.6 million visitors marked in 2006, before the financial crisis and recession hit.

Travelers spent a total of $14.3 billion in Hawaii nearly 19 percent more than they spent in 2011. This breaks the annual spending record of $12.8 billion marked in 2007.

Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO Mike McCartney says a recovering global economy, the strong yen, the start of new direct flights to the islands and marketing efforts boosted the numbers.

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