Visitor arrivals on the upswing with Maui arrivals up 10 percent

October 1, 2010, 7:02 AM HST · Updated October 1, 7:02 AM
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(Posted by Wendy Osher)

The state’s visitor industry is showing signs of economic recovery.  Visitor arrivals in August increased 11.8 percent and spending increased 30 percent compared to last year.  That translates to an additional $250 million in visitor spending for Hawaii’s successful summer travel season.

The positive performance is being attributed in part to increased air seats to Oahu, Maui and Kona on the Big Island, as well as a bump in visitors who arrived in the islands prior to the start of the USC-Hawaii football game.

File photo.

Here on Maui, arrivals were up 10 percent from the same time last year.  The county’s outer-islands had even greater gains with Molokai up 15.8 percent and Lanai posting a more than 25 percent increase, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

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State tourism liaison, Marsha Wienert called the performance stellar saying, ” The months of June, July and August this year exceeded last year by 203,366 visitor arrivals and generated an additional $597 million circulating through our economy.”

“Last month’s visitor statistics indicate that arrivals are stabilizing and visitor spending is trending upward, which is an encouraging sign for Hawai‘i’s economy,” said Lt. Governor Duke Aiona.

“The tourism outreach that has been undertaken by this Administration includes working with the airlines to increase airlift into our state and continued infrastructure improvements at our airports through the airports modernization plan,” said Aiona.

“South Korea visitor arrivals will nearly double this year compared to last because of increased airline seats and visa waiver status and we are looking forward to Hawaiian Airlines’ flights from Korea, which will begin next year,” Aiona said.

Through August, visitor spending in the islands totaled $7.5 billion, an increase of 12.7 percent compared to the first eight months of 2009.

“We still have a long way to go before we get back to pre-2008 levels; however, after six straight months of growth in visitor spending, businesses throughout the state are encouraged by the improvements in the visitor industry,” said Wienert.

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