Maui News

MAUI SEES DOUBLE-DIGIT DECLINE IN VISITORS

January 29, 2009, 12:15 PM HST
* Updated January 29, 2:36 PM
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(Posted by Wendy OSHER © 2009)  Maui’s visitor count was down 19 percent in December from the same time last year.  The county’s outer islands saw even deeper declines of 37 percent for Lanai and 49 percent for Molokai.  Total expenditures on Maui also experienced double digit decreases, down 28.3% to $243.4 million.  The per person per day spending on Maui in December was $159, down 18.9%.

On the dimly-lit bright side, much of the growth in Canadian arrivals in 2008 was on Maui, which reported a 3.4% increase.  Canadian visitors also stayed the longest during their visit, spending 12.17 days on island when visiting Maui.  The amount of time visitors spent on Maui overall, was positive-up 9% for December and 7% for the year, with the average visitor’s length of stay being 9.04 days in December and 7.84 days for the year.

Visitors by Cruise Ship dropped significantly with all counties reporting 49% and 50% declines in cruise ship passengers.  The decline in cruise visitors for December 2008 largely resulted from the departures of the Pride of Hawai`i (in February 2008) and the Pride of Aloha (in mid-May 2008).

State Tourism Liaison, Marsha Wienert said, “Hawai`i experienced an exceptional first quarter in 2008 which helped offset the challenges that the world economic crisis has had on the visitor industry and our economy.”  The results for the year and for December, she said, “were expected, however we continue to believe that in spite of the challenges opportunities exist.”

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