HI: Slow Big Island Construction Delays Recovery

Big Island of HawaiiA “downbeat” construction industry on the Big Island will diminish gains in the tourism sector, leading Hawaii County on a slow recovery from the recent recession, according to economist Leroy Laney.

Visitor arrivals for the island, which recently rebranded itself as Hawaii Island, have been increasing by double digits, with visitor spending keeping pace alongside, Laney, economics adviser to First Hawaiian Bank and a professor at Hawaii Pacific University, said at an annual forum sponsored by the bank.

Laney noted that the addition of a daily Continental Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Hilo, and a similar weekly flight from San Francisco, have helped offset the loss last fall of a Japan Airlines flight to Kona.

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