Business: Storm Clouds over Paradise

Rising airfares and crime hurt Hawaii's best business

For decades millions of Americans have escaped from steamy freeways and fussy bosses by flying off to the exotic white sands and coral reefs of Hawaii. As fast as the Hawaiians could build high-rise hotels and outrigger canoes, the tide of tourists rose to fill them. Visitors last year spent a stunning $2.6 billion, or 28% of the state's total income.

But this year the aloha spirit is suddenly subdued. Tourism is down for the first time since 1949. After growing at an annual average of 15% for the past 15 years, the number of...

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