Friday, Dec. 08, 2023 |
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Report: Tourism to HVNP contributes $149 million
A new report shows that 1.6 million visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in 2022 spent $149 million in communities near the park.
That spending supported 1,500 jobs in the local area and $195 million in economic output in local gateway economies surrounding the park, according to the report by the National Park Service.
“We recognize that tourism is a critical driver to the local economy,” Superintendent Rhonda Loh said in a press release. “People come to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to experience volcanic eruptions, the rich island biodiversity, and cherished cultural landscapes.”
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists at the NPS.
Nationwide, the report found that $23.9 billion was spent by nearly 312 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 378,400 jobs nationally; 314,600 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities.
The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $50.3 billion, according to the report.
County COVID death toll reaches 260
One new COVID-19 death was reported this week for Hawaii County.
The death was a woman between the ages of 70 and 79. She was not hospitalized but was reported to have an underlying condition, according to data from the state Department of Health.
Since the pandemic began in 2020, the death toll for the county has reached 260 people.
The statewide death toll has climbed to 1,936 people since the start of the pandemic, with the DOH reporting five deaths over the last week, mainly on Oahu.
The DOH reports deaths once they are provided the official cause of death, which in some cases can take weeks or even months to determine.
The latest variant report from the DOH released Aug. 22 confirms the omicron subvariant XBB.1.16 remains the dominant strain throughout the county, accounting for 31% of all analyzed cases.
A new variant, EG.5, is quickly spreading in the county, accounting for 18% of all analyzed cases and making it the second most dominant variant.
The World Health Organization on July 19 added EG.5 to the list of omicron variants being monitored.
The WHO added there is no evidence at this time that the EG.5 variant is more severe than past variants.
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