updated 7/28/2009 6:49:51 PM ET 2009-07-28T22:49:51

Hawaii's No. 1 industry continues to flounder, with the state welcoming 5.2 percent fewer tourists in June than it did in the same month last year.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority said Tuesday that the drop continued a decline that began in March 2008.

Fewer tourists means less money spent in the islands.

The 550,421 visitors who came to Hawaii in June spent just under $844 million, a 16 percent decline from June 2008.

Officials say total air visitor spending over the first six months of 2009 amounted to close to $5 billion. That's a drop of $882 million, or 15 percent, from the first half of last year.

The June figures included a ray of hope for the industry: air arrivals from the U.S. West increased for the second month in row.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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