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As Hawaii volcano eruption hits tourism, governor stresses the island is 'open for business'

An ash plume rises from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island on May 15, 2018 in Volcano, Hawaii.

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An ash plume rises from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island on May 15, 2018 in Volcano, Hawaii.

Tourism is the Big Island’s largest industry. However, some vacationers are now not making the trip.

Both Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean have cancelled stops at Hilo, the Big Island’s port. And tourism authorities said summer bookings for hotels on the island have fallen almost 50 percent since the eruption started on May 3.

Meanwhile, the closure of the national park is costing the island $166 million, the National Park Service said on Monday.

The lost revenue rises to $222 million when some 2,000 jobs indirectly impacted by park tourists are included, according to a park service report.

Ige also stressed the rest of the island chain is still seeing strong visitor arrivals.

“Hawaii is still the destination. The rest of the islands are unaffected by what’s happening at Kilauea.”

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