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Hawaii underserves Chinese visitors: airline CEO

April 25, 2014 - 2:57pm

HONOLULU — The CEO of Hawaiian Airlines says Hawaii’s hospitality industry must do more to make Chinese visitors feel welcome.

Mark Dunkerley told a retailers’ convention on Thursday that the state is unprepared for the potential number of Chinese visitors the state could receive. He says a survey found that Chinese visitors do not see Hawaii as a friendly destination.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that Dunkerley sees several obstacles for Hawaii to tap into the potentially vast Chinese market. Those include a lack of mid- and low-priced hotels, not enough promotion in China and too few Mandarin speakers in Waikiki.

Dunkerley says Japanese visitors last year outnumbered Chinese visitors more than 10-to-1. But he notes that Chinese visitors’ average daily spending in Hawaii was the most of any region.