HONOLULU (AP) — The number of Chinese visitors to Hawaii is decreasing in a trend that has continued for the past four years.

Hawaii Public Radio reported Tuesday that Chinese visitors to Hawaii are down 26% through the third quarter of 2019 that closed at the end of September.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority says Chinese tourist arrivals in the state have declined since 2015.

China’s Ministry for Culture and Tourism says about 150 million Chinese citizens traveled abroad in 2018.

Officials say that number has more than tripled over a 10-year period, with Chinese travelers generating $250 billion in annual economic activity worldwide.

Anu Anwar of the Daniel K. Inouye Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies says the decline could be a form of political punishment by the Chinese government against its rivals.

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