Eastern Tourists have fun watching their shadows on the clouds. Haleakala National Park. Views from the viewpoint of Leleiwi. Maui. Tourism and the Army in Hawaii the last years of the nineteenth century marked the beginning of the lucrative tourism on the islands, an industry that grew stronger when Hawaii became a state in 1959. The year 2000 broke all previous records with 6.9 million tourists this year in its 16,635 km2 (6423 miles square). Despite the devastating consequences for tourism that left behind the attack of September 11, the economy could return to his cause when the industry recovered in 2004. As a gateway to the Pacific, Hawaii is home to several military installations, all based on Oahu, thus creating a high number of military personnel in the islands: The Marine Corps Base (MCB) Hawaii, Armed Forces, Headquarters Schofield and Fort Shafter, MCBH Kaneohe bay, Air Base and Naval Station Pearl Harbor. A steadily growing population census of the United States in 2003 measured at Hawaii ranked tenth in terms of population growth, a feature attributed in large part to the constant migration to the islands, a stable economy and low levels of unemployment. Hawaii's current population of over 1.3 million due to the military presence and tourism, with about 72% of its residents living in metropolitan areas like Honolulu. People can enjoy cultural and sporting events, such as Aloha Festivals State, from August to October, the Monarch Hula Festival, which is held in Hilo in the month of February, the Honolulu Marathon, during December, or the Triple Crown of Surfing, which attracts thousands of stakeholders from around the world to the North Shore of Oahu every November and December.