Hawai‘i Island Tourism Declines in First Half of 2019

August 4, 2019, 7:00 AM HST (Updated July 30, 2019, 7:49 PM)
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Tourism on Hawai‘i Island notably decreased during the first half of 2019, according to the latest statistics released by Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) last week. Visitor pending on Hawai‘i Island fell by 11.5% to just over $1 billion, and visitors arrivals decreased more than 5%, the data shows.

But the latest data for June shows growth. Visitor spending grew by almost 5% to more than $200 million, and visitors arrives increased by nearly 10%.

Statewide, visitors spend almost $9 billion during the first half of 2019, a decrease of about 2% compared with the same period last year, according to HTA. The total visitor arrivals increased by more than 4%. During June only, total visitor spending statewide increased by almost 3% compared to one year ago and total visitor arrivals increased more than 6%.

Revenue through the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) supported dozens of community events and initiatives statewide during the first six months of 2019, including the Honolulu Festival, Pan Pacific Festival, various King Kamehameha Celebration events and the LEI (Leadership, Exploration, and Inspiration) Program.

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Among the four larger islands, O‘ahu recorded increases in both visitor spending (nearly 2%) and visitor arrivals (4.6%) in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period one year ago. On Maui, visitor spending decreased by nearly 2% while visitor arrivals grew 4%. Kauai saw decreases in both visitor spending (-5.7%) and visitor arrivals (-1.7%).

For the month of June, Maui recorded increases in both visitor spending (+12.2%) and visitor arrivals (+5.7%) compared to a year ago. O‘ahu saw a decline in visitor spending (-2.1%) despite growth in visitor arrivals (+4.6%). Kauai reported no changes in both visitor spending and visitor arrivals compared to one year ago.

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