By Sonia Isotov
According to preliminary statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority yesterday, total expenditures by visitors to Hawai’i in the first five months of 2011 increased 15.3 percent, compared to the same period last year, to $5 billion. Total visitor days for all visitors grew 8.5 percent, and total arrivals rose 6.7 percent to 2,958,699 visitors.
“The market continues to rebound in 2011 with overall visitor spending up 15.3 percent to $5 billion compared to the same period in 2010. May was the thirteenth consecutive month of increased visitor spending. We were also pleased to see an increase of 70 percent in the meetings, conventions and incentives market compared to May 2010,” said Mike McCartney, President and CEO, Hawaii Tourism Authority, in a statement.
McCartney also noted that “another positive indicator is the 5.3 percent increase in Japanese visitor spending – even with the decline in arrivals – for the first five months of 2011 than in 2010. The strong yen was a significant factor to boosting daily spending in this market.” Activity is projected to continue to remain strong though the second half of the year, especially with the increased airlift coming out of Asia and Oceania, and with the establishment of the China Eastern Airlines service from Honolulu to Shanghai beginning in August.
For the month of May 2011, total visitor spending grew 5.9 percent ($50.9 million) from May 2010, to $912.3 million. Total arrivals increased slightly by 0.6 percent to 553,505 visitors. The average daily spending by all visitors in May 2011 rose to $185 per person, from $175 per person a year ago.
Arrivals by cruise ships in May 2011 rose 69 percent to 4,646 visitors compared to the same month last year, continuing to add to the significant indicators pointing toward continued economic recovery for Hawaii.