Visitor Arrivals Continue to Break Records
Visitor arrivals in Hawai’i have yet again exceeded a previous record. During the month of October, a total of 652,616 tourists stepped foot in Hawai’i, arriving either by air or cruise ship, totaling a 4.8 percent growth during the month.
Big Island arrival numbers also saw a slight increase during the month of October, by just over half a percentage point to 115,759 visitors.
These numbers are part of the Hawai’i Tourism Authority’s preliminary statistics released this week.
Visitor increases were seen from various markets, with the highest volume coming from the United States West with an increase of 4.5 percent and U.S. East with an increase of 5.3 percent. Canada dropped by two percent in arrivals, and Japan was nearly even with a 0.1 percent increase. All other markets rose 7.8 percent to 107,121 visitors.
A higher level of visitor arrivals last month, compared to October 2014, didn’t make up for continued lower spending numbers per person across many of the visitor markets, declining 2.2 percent to $1.2 billion. The decline was spearheaded by Japanese visitors, down by 8.9 percent, and Canadian visitors, who spent 21.5 percent less. U.S. East and West visitors, however, increased their spending in October by 1.1 and 1.8 percent, respectively.
Compared to October 2014, the Big Island rose by 0.6 percent in visitors arrivals. The Big Island had the least amount of growth among the islands compared to last year, while Kaua’i saw a 7.9 percent increase compared to the same time period in 2014. The numbers didn’t necessary translate to spending, as the Big Island saw one of the highest visitor expenditure increases with an 8.1 percent gain, second only to Kaua’i’s 16.1 percent increase. Oahu saw a painful expenditure loss of 9.3 percent.
The Big Island saw a 4.2 percent boost in arrivals between January and October 2015 to 1.3 million, the same percentage as the state-wide visitor arrival percentage. During every month this year, the Big Island has seen an increase in length of stay of arrivals from the U.S. West. This could be a result of increased direct flights from U.S. West cities to Kailua-Kona.
During the month of October, more visitors stayed on the Big Island solely, 6.3 percent, than in October of last year.
Spending on the Big Island has plateaued, despite the continued increase in visitor arrivals. Visitors to the Big Island spend about 3.2 percent less, compared to the same time period in 2014, an overall 0.9 percent increase to $1.6 billion.