Hawaii tourism officials are employing a quiet, coordinated response to the dramatic falloff in Japanese travel due to the spread of the H1N1 virus.

The approach involves close monitoring of the situation, greater communication with the Japanese travel industry and a calm, deliberate approach to addressing concerns about the illness.

The hope is that the crisis, which has persuaded thousands of Japanese visitors to cancel trips to Hawaii in just the past 10 days, will taper off far sooner than the six months it took arrivals to rebound after the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2003.

Hawaii is far better prepared to deal with H1N1 than it was for SARS, said Marsha Wienert, the state’s tourism liaison.