The visitor industry is certainly doing its best to make the old saying "a rising tide lifts all boats" ring true here on the Valley Isle.
Through July, visitor spending is up a whopping 21.4 percent over last year, according to a story in yesterday's Maui News. So far this year, visitors have spent $2.2 billion here in 2012.
Last month, daily spending by visitors rose 14.6 percent to $191 - total spending for the month was $314.4 million.
The state numbers were just as impressive - an 18 percent increase in spending in July to $1.3 billion. For the year, Hawaii visitors have spent $8.4 billion, 21 percent more than last year through July
The Hawaii Tourism Authority said that over 160,000 residents are employed by some facet of the visitor industry. If that is accurate, it means that over one-quarter of the 603,000 people employed in Hawaii work in hospitality.
While our state unemployment rate of 6.4 percent is still too high, nationally that rate stands at 8.3 percent.
We're certain that as the visitor industry continues to set records, that "rising tide" will spread to other areas of the economy - notably, construction and the retail sector.
Hawaii is lucky indeed to have the natural beauty that attracts visitors from around the world. We are also lucky to have very competent professionals in the industry who know how to attract visitors - and how to treat them once they arrive.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.