AP NEWS

Correction: Hawaii-Volcano Money Loss story

May 28, 2019

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — In a story May 27 about the economic effect of the eruption at Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the overall economic loss from a drop in visitor spending was $94 million last year. The decline in visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park resulted in a loss of about $99.4 million compared with 2017.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Visitor decline amid Hawaii eruption caused $99M loss

Decline in visitors amid Kilauea eruption caused loss of $99M in area near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — A decrease in visitor spending amid the 2018 eruption of Kilauea volcano caused a loss of more than $99 million to the communities surrounding Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, officials said.

A drop in national park visitors and a loss of related jobs in the surrounding communities resulted in an overall economic decline of about $99.4 million in 2018, The Honolulu Star Advertiser reported Sunday.

Federal officials found that Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which sustained extensive damage and was closed for months during the eruption, had 1.1 million visitors in 2018. Those visitors spent about $94 million and supported 1,040 local jobs, producing a cumulative benefit to the economy of about $123 million.

In 2017, more than 2 million park visitors spent $166 million and supported 2,020 Big Island jobs for an overall economic benefit of about $222 million.

The eruption that began in May 2018 destroyed more than 700 homes. Over four months, Kilauea buried the area in up to 80 feet (24 meters) of lava.

“It’s not surprising to see a decrease in visitor spending during 2018 since most of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was closed for 134 days due to unsafe and unpredictable volcanic activity,” acting Superintendent Rhonda Loh said in a written statement.

The economic data was part of an analysis of spending by visitors to national parks conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists and the National Park Service.

Throughout the nation in 2018, 318 million visitors spent $20.2 billion in communities within 60 miles (97 kilometers) of a national park, primarily on lodging and food. The spending supported 329,000 jobs and produced a cumulative $40.1 billion benefit to the U.S. economy, according to the analysis.

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