After going through a $115-million renovation, the Royal Hawaiian Center is ready for it's grand open house celebration, with it's new look, a new focus.
The main feature is the royal grove, 30-thousand square feet of trees and some native plants, designed with cultural elements. The idea is to promote the center as much more than a place to shop. Even the name changed from royal hawaiian shopping center to Royal Hawaiian Center.
It might not seem like it when you're in Waikiki. There are lots of people walking on the streets, hanging out on the beach. But state numbers show visitors arrivals are down. A 17.3% drop in visitors this past August compared to last. Arrivals from the west coast plunged 24.2%, the largest drop on record. Statewide, tourism revenue is down $206.9 million for the month of August.
awai'i's visitor arrivals plunged last month — again — with a 17.3 percent drop from last August, not counting cruise passengers.
The double-digit plummet and continuing decline in the state's No. 1 industry could fuel more worries about the economy.
The worst news came from a traditionally strong source of visitors — the U.S. West — which posted its biggest decline on record, down 24.2 percent, according to the August report by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.