Business

Hawai‘i August Visitor Spending Grew 6.1%

September 30, 2017, 1:00 PM HST
* Updated September 30, 1:56 PM
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The bridge entrance to Nāhuku (Thurston Lava Tube) is one of the most popular, and most photographed, destinations in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. ​​NPS photo/Janice Wei

Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $1.39 billion in August 2017, an increase of 6.1% compared to August 2016, according to preliminary statistics released by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.

Total visitor arrivals rose 4.8% to 818,581 visitors in August, marked by growth in arrivals from both air service (+4.8% to 815,949) and cruise ships (+39.8% to 2,632).

Hawai‘i’s four largest visitor markets, U.S. west, U.S. east, Japan and Canada, all reported increases in visitor spending and arrivals in August.

The U.S. east market reported the largest gain in visitor spending (+11.7% to $328.3 million) year-over-year. Daily spending (+5% to $211 per person) was higher compared to a year ago and arrivals also grew (+6.6% 159,572) supported by increased air seats from Minneapolis, Dallas and Chicago.

The Japan market continued to realize growth in visitor spending (+9.4% to $231.6 million), visitor arrivals (+5.2% to 160,424) and daily spending (+2% to $224 per person), boosted by the additional direct flights serving Honolulu and Kona that began in prior months.

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Spending by U.S. West visitors also increased (+1.5% to $489.9 million). Arrivals were up (+3.7% to 342,054), but a shorter length of stay (-3% to 8.51 days) resulted in marginal growth in visitor days (+0.6%). Daily spending (+0.9% to $168 per person) rose slightly versus last year.

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The Canada market recorded growth in visitor spending (+6.2% to $51 million) compared to a year ago. Visitor arrivals increased (+6% to 29,542) but daily spending declined (-1.9% to $156 per person) from a year ago.

Combined visitor spending from all other international markets also increased (+5.7% to $290.5 million), boosted by growth in arrivals (+4.6% to 124,358) and higher daily spending.

All four larger Hawaiian Islands saw growth in visitor spending and arrivals in August 2017 compared to last year.

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On Hawai‘i Island, visitor spending gained in August (+7.1% to $173.7 million). Visitor days (+12.8%) and arrivals (+14.2% to 152,550) were up significantly, supported by increased air service from the U.S. mainland and Japan. However, daily spending was lower (-5.1% to $171 per person) compared to August 2016. Arrivals increased from Canada (+21.4%), U.S. East (+20.1%), Japan (+16.1%) and the U.S. West (+4%). Year-to-date, double-digit growth was realized for both visitor spending (+18% to $1.61 billion) and arrivals (+14% to 1,196,926) compared to the first eight months of 2016.

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