Visitor Stats on the Rise for Big Island, the State

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The summit eruption of Kīlauea volcano from Halema‘uma‘u Crater continues to attract visitors to the park. NPS Photo/ Stephen Geiger

Visitor arrivals to Hawai‘i Island increased .5% to 107,558 visitors and visitor days (up .2%) increased slightly in November 2015 versus the year prior.

Visitor expenditures for the Big Island increased 2.6% to $143.4 million due to higher daily spending (+2.4% to $176 per person).

Arrivals from US West increased 3.1% to maintain a streak of year-over-year increases in every month of 2015.

More direct flights from US West cities to Kona have supported this growth and resulted in more US West visitors staying exclusively on Hawai‘i Island—a 5.2% increase.

Significantly more visitors from Japan stayed exclusively on Hawai‘i Island in November 2015 (+65.2% to 2,611) compared to a year ago. Visitors from Canada decreased by 14.9 percent.


Year-to-date, Hawai‘i Island experienced a 3.9% growth in visitor arrivals compared to the first 11 months of 2014 and visitor expenditures increased 1% to $1.7 billion.

Hawai‘i’s other larger islands realized growth in visitor arrivals in November compared to the year prior: Maui (+2.8% to 193,355), O‘ahu (+4.1% to 407,570) and Kaua‘i (+.8% to 83,021).

Total visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands in November 2015 set a new record for the month with 661,352 visitors, an increase of 3.7% compared to November 2014. November marked the ninth straight month total visitor arrivals have surpassed the previous monthly records.

Visitor arrivals on airlines increased in November 2015 (+4.5% to 657,603), with the balance arriving on cruise ships (-56.4% to 3,749 visitors).

Year-over-year growth in arrivals on airlines from US West (+5.1% to 285,638) and U.S. East (+9.5% to 119,167) more than offset a decrease from Canada (-4.8% to 43,197). Visitor arrivals from Japan (+0.3% to 122,840) were comparable to November 2014, while arrivals from all other international markets increased for the month (+7.3% to 86,761).


Other islands with an increase in exclusive stays on one island were O‘ahu (+6.3%), Kaua‘i (+5.7%), and Maui (+7.5%), compared to November 2014, while fewer visitors (-4%) stayed on multiple islands.

Total visitor expenditures grew in November 2015 (+2.5% to $1.1 billion) compared to the year prior, driven by a 3% increase in total visitor days, which compensated for slightly lower per person per day spending (-0.5% to $196 per person).

Among Hawai‘i’s top four visitor markets, visitor expenditures increased from US West (+6.6% to $430.7 million) and US East (+7.3% to $254.8 million), but declined from Japan (-7.2% to $174.9 million) and Canada (-12.3% to $80.6 million).

Hawai‘i’s other larger islands saw year-over-year increases in visitor expenditures in November: Kaua‘i (+9.7% to $115.9 million), Hawai‘i Island (+2.6% to $143.4 million), and O‘ahu (+0.7% to $557 million).

There were 927,289 total air seats to the Hawaiian Islands in November 2015, up 4.4 percent from a year ago. Growth in scheduled seats from Canada (+16.9%), Oceania (+8.2%), US West (+5.7%), US East (+4.8%) and Other Asia (+1.2%) offset a 1.8 percent decline in seats from Japan.


Year-to-Date 2015

In the first 11 months of 2015, total visitor arrivals (+4.2% to 7,855,111) and visitor expenditures (+2.2% to $13.6 billion) maintained its positive pace over the same period in 2014. Growth in arrivals from US West (+7%) and US East (+2.8%) offset slightly fewer arrivals from Japan (-0.8%). Gains in US West visitor expenditures (+6.4% to $4.8 billion), counter-balanced a slight drop in US East spending (-0.8% to $3.3 billion) and a decline from Japan (-9.7% to $2 billion). Expenditures of $943.4 million by visitors from Canada in the first 11 months of 2015 were similar to the same period last year.

Year-to-date for the other islands, Maui (+5.1%), Kaua‘i (+4.5%) and O‘ahu (+2.6%) experienced growth in visitor arrivals compared to the first 11 months of 2014. Visitor expenditures increased for Maui (+5.8% to $3.8 billion) and Kaua‘i (+14.6% to $1.5 billion), but dropped for O‘ahu (-1.4% to $6.5 billion).

Download the complete November 2015 Visitor Stats Report.

For more information about HTA, go online.

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