Business

Big Island Tourism Grew in July

August 28, 2015, 9:45 AM HST
* Updated August 28, 12:40 PM
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July was one of the busiest months on record for Hawai’i tourism, with 816,345 tourists visiting the islands arriving by air or cruise ship, a 5.6 percent increase.

Tourism on the Big Island also saw a 5.6 percent visitor increase in July. The numbers are part of the Hawai’i Tourism Authority’s preliminary statistics released this week.

The state saw an overall four percent increase in the amount tourists spent statewide, totaling $1.42 billion, with visitors from the western portion of the mainland United States jumping by 7.2 percent to 23,681 more visitors than July 2014. Additional increases were seen in visitor numbers from other major markets, including a 4.9 percent increase in visitors from the eastern portion of the U.S., a 9.5 percent growth of visitors from Canada, and a 2.6 percent increase of Japanese visitors.

Despite the record breaking visitor numbers, the Hawai’i Tourism Authority reports that visitors from the western part of the mainland were the only group that had an increase in personal daily spending at 4.3 percent.

Overall expenditures were mixed across the board, as the U.S. west and Canada increased by 10.8 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively. The numbers were lower for Japanese visitors and visitors from the U.S. east, who only spent $194.6 million and $382.4 million, respectively, similar to 2014’s numbers.

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An increase in visitors to the Big Island helped increase both visitor days and visitor expenditure growth. Maui, O’ahu, and Kau’ai also saw a boost in arrivals.

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Arrivals rose state-wide by 4.2 percent during the first seven months of 2015. Visitor spending also increased during that time period by 3.6 percent, or $9 billion. In that increase, the Big Island saw a year-to-date increase of 5.3 percent in arrivals and a $1.1 billion increase in visitor expenditures. Hilo saw a higher increase in arrivals over Kona by one percentage point, reading 7.5 percent and 6.5 percent respectively.

In addition to visitor arrivals, the Big Island had a 12.4 percent increase in the number of visitors who stayed on the Big Island solely. The Big Island’s gain in visitors countered a lower number of daily spending, $173 per person, and resulted in a 4.1 percent growth to $181.2 million.

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