An economic and tourism boom following statehood brought rapid economic growth to Honolulu and Hawaii. Modern air travel brings, as of 2007, 7.6 million visitors annually to the islands, with 62.3% entering at . Today, Honolulu is a modern city with numerous high-rise buildings, and Waikīkī is the center of the tourism industry in Hawaii, with thousands of hotel rooms. The , in a 2009 assessment "conducted to help governments and major companies place employees on international assignments", ranked Honolulu 29th ; the survey factored in , , sanitation, crime, housing, the natural environment, recreation, banking facilities, availability of , education, and public services including transportation.
Honolulu, located on the southern coast of Oahu in Hawaii, is the state's largest, best-known and capital city. The Hawaiian islands were discovered by British captain James Cook in 1778 and annexed as a US territory by President McKinley in 1898. The capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii since 1845, Honolulu became the commercial hub of the Pacific and a strategic military center thanks to its geography (Honolulu in Hawaiian means "sheltered bay"). In the early 1900s, the US Navy established a Pacific headquarters at Honolulu's Pearl Harbor; Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 brought the US into World War II. The US Army soon built Schofield Barracks in the mountains of Central Oahu. After the war, these bases expanded, making the military an important part of the city's economy.