Maui Visitor Spending Rose 24.6% in March

April 27, 2012, 10:55 AM HST · Updated April 27, 2:33 PM
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Visitors and residents alike enjoy kite surfing at Hookipa. Photo courtesy HTA/Ron Dahlquist.

By Sonia Isotov

Total Maui visitor expenditures for March 2012 climbed 24.6% to $352.9 million compared to the same month one year ago, according to preliminary statistics released yesterday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Arrivals to Maui rose 6.7% compared to March 2011 while daily spending was much higher (+14.9%) compared to a year ago.

Double digit growth in Maui arrivals from Canada (+14.3%) and US West (+11.3%) offset a 3.7% drop in US East visitors to Maui.

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For the first quarter of 2012, total arrivals to Maui increased 6.5% while total visitor expenditures increased 15.7% to $1 billion.

“Looking ahead, we anticipate some flattening in arrivals from the US in April. While May is typically slower month for travel to the Hawaiian islands, our support of festivals and events like Mele Mei draw visitors during these shoulder periods,” said Mike McCartney, the president and chief executive officer of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, in a written statement.

“We remain optimistic for a robust second half of the quarter, with new flights beginning from New York, Washington, DC, Fresno and Las Vegas and the start of increased seasonal summer travel in June.”

Japanese tourists enjoy a day on Maui. Courtesy of HVCB.

Growth continued across the state as well. Total expenditures by visitors who came to Hawai‘i in March 2012 rose 18.9% (or $185.8 million) to $1.17 billion, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.

This marked the 22nd consecutive month of year-over-year growth in total Hawaii state visitor expenditures since May 2010. A 12.9% growth in total state visitor arrivals to 714,973 visitors and an increase of 6.2% in daily visitor spending ($177 per person per day) contributed to this gain.

Among the top four visitor markets, arrivals by air from US West grew 11.4% compared to March 2011 to 264,956 visitors. Total US West visitor expenditures in March 2012 rose 16.9%z to $364 million, the seventh consecutive month of growth since September 2011.

One year after the disaster in Japan stunted Japanese travel, arrivals by air to Hawaii in this March reached 114,055 Japanese visitors, a 27% gain compared to March 2011. March 2012 also exceeded arrivals for March 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Total Japanese visitor spending in Hawaii in March 2012 rose 25.3% to $186.8 million, the 10th straight month of growth since June 2011.

US East arrivals by air grew 2.2% to 162,931 visitors to Hawaii. However, lower daily spending (-1.9% to $167 per person) resulted in a 0.7% drop in US East spending to $261 million.

Canadian arrivals rose 6.6% to 72,882 visitors, while total spending by Canadian visitors increased 8.3% to $134.1 million, and continued a trend of successive growth since January 2011.

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