Travelers to Hawaii's Big Island drop 12.7 percent in July

Hawaii's Big Island continued to experience sharp declines in visitors and tourism spending last month amid Kilauea volcano's eruption.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority said Thursday the number of travelers to the island sank 12.7 percent in July compared to the same month last year. Spending by visitors declined 7.2 percent to $201 million.

Lava mostly stopped flowing from the volcano early this month. It was vigorously erupting in July.

Tourists had few options to see lava because Hawaii Volcanoes National Park closed in May due to eruption dangers. There was also no public viewing area outside the park.

Overall, more than 939,000 visitors came to the state. That's a 5.3 percent increase over July last year and a record high for any month.

Spending climbed 4.8 percent to $1.66 billion.