Business

Hawai‘i Island Visitor Arrivals & Spending Decrease

December 27, 2018, 2:40 PM HST
* Updated December 28, 8:38 AM
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The Island of Hawai‘i recorded declines in both visitor spending and visitor arrivals in November 2018. Visitor arrivals declined slightly on Hawai‘i Island over the first 11 months of 2018.

Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $1.29 billion in November 2018, which was nearly flat (-0.3%) compared to November 2017, according to preliminary statistics released by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA).

In November, growth in visitor spending from the U.S. West (+6.5% to $533.1 million), U.S. East (+9.3% to $292.3 million) and Canada (+2.6% to $99.6 million) markets was offset by decreases from Japan (-0.4% to $182.7 million) and All Other International Markets (-26.5% to $175.3 million).

On a statewide level, average daily visitor spending was down (-3.2% to $193 per person) in November year-over-year. Visitors from U.S. East (+4.0%) and Canada (+2.2%) spent more per day, while visitors from Japan (-3.8%) and All Other International Markets (-12.1%) spent less.

Total visitor arrivals rose to 781,990 (+4.3%) in November compared to a year ago, with growth realized in arrivals from both air service (+4.1% to 770,126) and cruise ships (+21.1% to 11,864). Total visitor days increased by 3%. The average daily census (i.e. number of visitors on any given day) in November was 221,935 (+3%).

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More visitors came by air from U.S. West (+11.3%), U.S. East (+7.5%), Japan (+3.1%) and Canada (+0.7%) in November, while fewer visitors came from All Other International Markets (-19.7%) versus last year.

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The Island of Hawai‘i recorded declines in both visitor spending of $154.4 million (-18.3%) and visitor arrivals of 123,032 (-10.0%).

O‘ahu, Maui and Kaua‘i all recorded increases in both visitor spending and visitor arrivals in November year-over-year. Visitor spending on O‘ahu grew slightly to $609.1 million (+0.9%) with visitor arrivals increasing to 456,121 (+2.8%). Maui saw visitor spending grow to $364.6 million (+1.7%) and visitor arrivals to 225,178 (+4.1%). Visitor spending on Kaua‘i increased to $141.7 million (+13.9%) and visitor arrivals to 102,516 (+6.4%).

A total of 1,035,694 trans-Pacific air seats served the Hawaiian Islands in November, up 7.3% year-over-year. Growth in scheduled air seats from Canada (+15.8%), U.S. West (+10.8%), Japan (+10.7%), Oceania (+2.7%) and U.S. East (+0.4%) offset fewer air seats from Other Asia markets (-37.9%).

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Year-to-Date 2018

Year-to-date through the first 11 months of 2018, visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $16.22 billion, an increase of 8% compared to the same period last year.

Hawai‘i’s four largest visitor markets, U.S. West (+9.9% to $6.01 billion), U.S. East (+9.0% to $4.13 billion), Japan (+1.9% to $2.12 billion) and Canada (+6.6% to $960.7 million), all reported growth in visitor spending compared to the same period last year. Combined visitor spending from All Other International Markets also increased (+8.0% to $2.95 billion).

Year-to-date through November, total visitor arrivals increased (+6.1% to 9,044,488) versus last year, with growth from U.S. West (+9.7% to 3,822,064), U.S. East (+8.3% to 1,956,288), Canada (+3.4% to 465,497) and All Other International Markets (+3.5% to 1,249,624) offsetting fewer visitors from Japan (-1.5% to 1,440,289).

All four larger Hawaiian Islands realized growth in visitor spending over the first 11 months of 2018. Visitor arrivals increased on O‘ahu, Maui and Kaua‘i but declined slightly on the Island of Hawai‘i.

A total of 12,066,873 trans-Pacific air seats served the Hawaiian Islands year-to-date through November, up 8.8% from the same period last year.

Other Highlights:

  • S. West: Visitor arrivals increased from the Pacific (+11.9%) and Mountain (+8.4%) regions in November compared to last year, with growth realized from Alaska (+22.5%), Nevada (+14.0%), Washington (+13.0%), Colorado (+12.0%), California (+11.8%) and Arizona (+11.5%). Through the first 11 months of 2018, arrivals rose from the Mountain (+12.4%) and Pacific (+9.3%) regions versus the same period last year.
  • S. East: With the exception of New England (-4.4%), all regions recorded growth in visitor arrivals in November versus a year ago. Year-to-date, arrivals were up from every region, including growth from the two largest regions, East North Central (+9.5%) and South Atlantic (+9.1%).
  • Japan: More visitors stayed in hotels (+2.7%) in November while stays in timeshares (-2.2%) were down compared to last year. Additionally, more visitors made their own travel arrangements (+21.9%) while fewer visitors purchased group tours (-14.6%) and package trips (-6.5%).
  • Canada: Visitor arrivals on international flights increased (+8.6%), while fewer visitors came on U.S. domestic flights (-26.7%), in November year-over-year. Flying directly from Canada to Hawai‘i was more affordable than crossing from Canada into the U.S. to take domestic flights. Visitor stays declined in hotels (-4.1%) and condominiums (-5.2%) but increased in rental homes (+43.8%) in November compared to a year ago.
  • MCI: Total visitor arrivals who came in November for meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI) decreased (-8.6% to 36,014) from last year. Fewer arrivals attended conventions (-27.5%) and corporate meetings (-4.2%) but more arrivals came for incentive trips (+23.7%). Year-to-date, total MCI visitors increased (+2.0% to 462,444) versus the same period last year.

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