Loss of Hawaii tourism due to Kilauea eruption may exceed $200 mn: Study

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Los Angeles, Aug 5 (IANS) The cumulative expenditure loss to the tourism of the Big Island of Hawaii inflicted by the eruption of the Kilauea volcano may reach approximately $200 million, a study has found.

“The Big Island may have already lost 38,000 potential visitors and around $50 million in potential tourism expenditure in May and June,” said Mark Kimura, faculty member of the Department of Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Hawaii.

“Besides the loss of tourists’ expenditures, there is usually a ‘ripple effect’ among tourism-related businesses, such as the impact on local workers in the industry and sales of indigenous goods,” he added.

According to George Szigeti, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, “Hawaii’s tourism industry has done extremely well in the first half of 2018 in all key categories.”

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Kilauea, one of the youngest and most active volcanoes in the world, has been erupting continuously since early May, which has prompted closure of two-thirds of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in the Big Island.

–IANS

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