Hawaii spending by visitors drops 3.5 percent
HONOLULU (AP) - Spending by visitors in Hawaii fell by 3.5 percent in March compared with the same month one year ago to $1.2 billion, the Hawaii Tourism Authority said Monday.
The number of travelers to Hawaii also dropped, sinking 5.2 percent to fewer than 729,000 visitors.
The state tourism agency has been anticipating slower growth following two record-breaking years for the industry, CEO Mike McCartney said in a statement. The outlook for the summer is strong, McCartney said, but the fall season should be challenging because of increased competition, a strengthening U.S. dollar and a hike in Japan's consumption tax.
Travelers from the state's biggest market - the western region of the U.S. - led the declines in March.
There were 9.2 percent fewer visitors to Hawaii from the area, and they spent 14 percent less money while here.
About 2 percent more Japanese visitors, who make up the state's biggest international market, came to Hawaii. Spending by travelers from Japan declined 0.6 percent.
By county, spending fell 9.5 percent on Oahu and 4.3 percent on Kauai as the number of visitors to both places declined. But spending climbed 5.7 percent in Maui County and 4.9 percent on Hawaii Island. Both Maui and Hawaii counties also had more visitors in March.
Disney says Shanghai theme park to get $800 million boost
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Disney says it and its Chinese partner will spend $800 million more on their Shanghai theme park, bringing the total investment to nearly $5.5 billion.
The extra spending will go toward more attractions, entertainment and other offerings. Most of the additions are targeted to be completed by opening day, which is aimed for the end of 2015.
CEO Bob Iger said in a statement that Disney has been impressed with the growth of China's economy, the expansion of the middle class and a significant increase in travel and tourism.
Shanghai Shendi Group owns 57 percent of the park while The Walt Disney Co. holds the remaining 43 percent.
Each will contribute a proportionate share of the extra investment.
Chicago museum extends Disney exhibit by 3 months
CHICAGO (AP) - The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is extending a popular exhibit of Walt Disney archives.
Anne Rashford is director of temporary exhibits at the museum. In a statement Monday, she says the exhibit is being extended for three months. It is now scheduled to end Aug. 3.
The exhibition, titled "Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives," includes more than 300 artifacts from nine decades of Disney history. It features costumes, props and artwork from classic Disney animation, live-action films, theme parks and television shows.
Rashford says the exhibit offers a rare peek into Disney's life and "the unforgettable entertainment he created."
Attendees must purchase a separate ticket for the exhibit in addition to their museum admission.
Frontier cutting fares but charging for carry-ons
DENVER (AP) - Passengers beware: More airline fees are on their way.
Another airline is promising to change the way we fly by offering cheap base fares but then adding on a bevy of additional fees. Passengers flying Frontier Airlines will now have to pay extra to place carry-on bags in the overhead bin or for advance seat assignments.
The move comes as the Denver-based airline tries to transform itself into a fee-dependent airline, similar to Spirit Airlines or Allegiant Air - the only other U.S. carriers to charge such fees. Frontier already charges $1.99 for a soda or water on its flights, a fee it added on July 1.
Frontier says that in exchange for these new fees, it is lowering its base fare by an average of 12 percent. The new charges apply to tickets purchased on or after Monday.