Business

State Visitor Arrivals Break August Record

September 28, 2015, 3:12 PM HST
* Updated September 28, 3:18 PM
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July was a busy month of tourism in Hawai’i, but August trumped the numbers, setting a new record with a 2.9 percent increase to 755,863 tourists visiting through arrival by air or cruise ship.

On the Big Island, tourism had a 2.2 percent increase in visitors during the month of August.

These numbers are part of the Hawai’i Tourism Authority’s preliminary statistics released this week.

Despite the record breaking visitor arrival numbers, spending saw a different trend, with statewide flat numbers in daily spending. A total of $1.3 billion was spent, a half percent decrease state-wide.

Visitors from Japan spent 8.2 percent less per day in August at $333.6 million. An additional 2.5 percent dropped in spending from visitors from the United States East to $287.4 million. However, slight rises in daily visitor spending from the U.S. West (0.8 percent to $449.8 million) and Canadian spending (6.9 percent to $49.3 million) leveled off the numbers to record as flat.

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Overall expenditures were mixed across the board, as Japan saw an 8.2 percent decrease in August. U.S. East also saw an overall expenditure decrease by 2.5 percent. Canadian visitors had a 6.9 percent increase in total spending, while the U.S. West increased by eight tenths of a percent.

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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.

Arrivals rose statewide by 4.1 percent during the first eight months of 2015. Visitor spending barely increased by 3.1 percent during that time period to $10.2 billion. In that increase, the Big Island saw a year-to-date increase of 4.9 percent in arrivals and a 0.8 percent increase in visitor expenditures to $1.2 billion.

In addition to visitor arrivals, the Big Island had a 7.1 percent increase in the number of visitors who stayed on the Big Island solely. The Big Island’s gain in visitors accompanied a heightened number of daily spending ($180 per person) and resulted in a 3.1 percent growth to $161.9 million.

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