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Defense expenditures, cattle ranching, ocean beaches, pineapples, mild climate
Tourism has become the most lucrative and fastest growing sector of the Hawaiian economy as 6.5 million visitors find their way to the region each year. Tourists crossing the Pacific from either direction stop to take advantage of the mild climate, the extraordinary scenery, and the ocean beaches. Defense expenditures generate the second highest amount of wealth in the area, with the federal government employing almost 20 percent of Hawaii’s labor force. Hawaii is the headquarters of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Command because of its strategic location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Hawaii has 582,747 hectares (1,440,000 acres) of farmland, devoted to sugarcane, pineapples, and tropical specialty crops, such as coffee. However, most of Hawaii’s agricultural land is used for cattle ranching.
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