As Asia-Pacific economies improve and strengthen in coming years, it could mean better tourism numbers for Hawaii, according to a report released Friday by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.

While acknowledging that the Asia-Pacific region has been impacted by struggling European economies and a sluggish U.S. recovery, the report says “several key trends will shape the pattern of growth in the region, with implications for Hawaii.”

One example: visitors from Asia will be older and richer in coming years.

“Visitors from the Asia-Pacific are valuable for the Hawaii visitor industry because of their high spending levels,” the report said. “These visitors are much more likely, for example, to stay in hotels rather than time shares. They also spend a lot more money shopping — upwards of two-and-a-half times what visitors from North America spend each day.”

As populations age in Japan, China and South Korea, expected retirements present an opportunity for Hawaii: “These recent retirees are likely to remain active and possess both the time and the financial resources needed to benefit Hawaii tourism.”

The report added: “Visitor related companies will need to think about how to market appropriately and to shape the services they offer, and how to be flexible as markets change.”

Here’s a copy of the media version of the report, “Hawaii in the Asia-Pacific Century,” which is more detailed than the “public summary” linked above.

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