Visitor Spending Down in October
Visitors to the Islands of Hawai‘i spent a total of $1.31 billion in October 2018, down slightly (-0.7%) compared to a year ago, according to preliminary statistics released Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA).
Growth in visitor spending from U.S. West (+7.6% to $500.6 million), U.S. East (+4.9% to $303.7 million), Canada (+3.6% to $59.8 million) and Japan (+1.4% to $190.5 million) in October was offset by a decrease in visitor spending from All Other International Markets (-20.2% to $249.2 million).
On a statewide level, average visitor spending was down (-2.4% to $200 per person) in October year-over-year. Visitors from Canada (+4.5%), Japan (+2.1%) and U.S. West (+1.3%) spent more, while spending by U.S. East visitors was nearly flat (-0.5%). Visitors from All Other International Markets (-10.4%) spent less.
Total visitor arrivals rose to 770,359 (+4.4%) in October, with growth in arrivals from both air service (+4.0%) and cruise ships (+20.1%). Total visitor days increased by 1.8%. The average daily census (i.e. number of visitors on any given day) in October was 210,960, up 1.8% compared to a year ago.
More visitors came by air from U.S. West (+9.3%), U.S. East (+7.3%) and Canada (+1.5%) in October, while fewer visitors arrived from Japan (-3.0%) and All Other International Markets (-4.0%).
The island of Hawai‘i recorded declines in both visitor spending (-11.4% to $169.2 million) and visitor arrivals (-15.7% to 115,573) compared to October of last year. O‘ahu recorded a slight decrease in visitor spending (-0.5% to $598.4 million) despite increased visitor arrivals (+4.3.% to 467,747) compared to a year ago. Maui realized growth in both visitor spending (+1.8% to $377.3 million) and visitor arrivals (+1.8% to 216,606). Kaua‘i also achieved increases in both visitor spending (+2.1% to $145.1 million) and arrivals (+2.4% to 103,089).
A total of 1,021,853 trans-Pacific air seats served the Hawaiian Islands in October, up 6.1% year-over-year. Growth in scheduled seats from Canada (+20.5%), Oceania (+18.8%), U.S. West (+8.0%), U.S. East (+4.3%) and Japan (+2.9%) offset fewer seats from Other Asia (-17.7%).
Year-to-date through October, visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $14.93 billion, an increase of 8.8% compared to the first 10 months of last year.
Hawai‘i’s four largest visitor markets, U.S. West (+10.2% to $5.47 billion), U.S. East (+9.0% to $3.84 billion), Japan (+2.1% to $1.94 billion) and Canada (+7.1% to $861.1 million) all reported growth in visitor spending compared to the same period last year. Combined visitor spending from All Other International Markets also increased (+11.3% to $2.77 billion).
Year-to-date, total visitor arrivals increased (+6.3% to 8,262,497) versus last year, with growth from U.S. West (+9.6% to 3,463,510), U.S. East (+8.4% to 1,813,606), Canada (+3.8% to 412,740) and All Other International Markets (+5.7% to 1,167,013) offsetting fewer visitors from Japan (-2.0% to 1,306,769).
All four larger Hawaiian Islands realized growth in visitor spending over the first 10 months of 2018. Visitor arrivals increased on O‘ahu, Maui and Kaua‘i but declined on the Island of Hawai‘i.
A total of 11,031,179 trans-Pacific air seats served the Hawaiian Islands year-to-date through October, an increase of 8.9% from the same period last year.
- U.S. West: Visitor arrivals increased from the Mountain (+12.8%) and Pacific (+8.5%) regions in October compared to a year ago, with growth realized from Utah (+25.5%), Washington (+10.7%), Oregon (+10.1%), Arizona (+8.0%) and California (+7.5%). Through the first 10 months, arrivals rose from the Mountain (+12.8%) and Pacific (+9.0%) regions versus the same period last year.
- U.S. East: With the exception of New England (-2.2%), all regions recorded growth in visitor arrivals in October year-over-year. Year-to-date, arrivals were up from every region, including growth from the two largest regions, East North Central (+9.7%) and South Atlantic (+9.0%).
- Japan: Visitor stays declined in hotels (-3.0%) and timeshares (-8.9%) in October, while stays in condominiums (+8.1%) and with friends and relatives (+92.4%) increased compared to last year. Additionally, more visitors made their own travel arrangements (+17.0%) while fewer visitors purchased group tours (-18.4%) and package trips (-10.5%).
- Canada: Visitor stays declined in hotels (-6.7%) and timeshares (-12.3%) but increased in condominiums (+11.0%) and with friends and relatives (+22.5%) versus last year.
- MCI: Total visitors who came to Hawai‘i in October for meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI) rose (+45.5% to 57,337) compared to a year ago. Convention visitors doubled from the U.S. West, complemented by growth from Canada (+89.1%), U.S. East (+73.7%) and Japan (+53.8%). The 2018 American Dental Association Annual Meeting, held at the Hawai‘i Convention Center, brought more than 15,000 delegates from 46 countries. Year-to-date through October, total MCI visitors increased (+3.0% to 426,429) from the same period last year.