Gov. David Ige will be traveling to Japan to meet with government officials and members of the travel industry to promote and expand travel from Japan to the Hawaiian Islands.
Japan is the number one international market for Hawai‘i with 18 daily flights to the Hawaiian Islands that bring in 1.5 million visitors annually, accounting for $2.4 billion in spending a year, which provides $257 million in state tax revenues.
During the trip, Gov. Ige will meet with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and the Minister of Tourism to discuss possible pre-clearance of flights from Japan to Hawai‘i and the U.S., which will ease access to the Hawaiian Islands. Honolulu is the nation’s fourth largest port of entry for overseas arrivals to the U.S.
Gov. Ige will also meet with travel partners from airlines, travel agents, wholesalers, corporations and businesses to encourage more travel to the islands, including meetings, conventions and incentive travel.
“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 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.”
Accompanying the governor on this trip is Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s (HTA) Japan marketing partner, Chief of Staff Mike McCartney and Scott Tome, Executive Services Assistant.
They return to Hawai‘i on Friday, June 19, 2015
The estimated cost of this trip is $9,800 for air, hotel and ground transportation.
Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui will be Acting Governor while Gov. Ige is out of the state.