Maui Tourism Economy Continues Improving

June 28, 2012, 1:08 PM HST · Updated June 28, 1:10 PM
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Japanese tourists enjoy a day on Maui. Courtesy of HVCB.

By Sonia Isotov

In May, higher daily spending and growth in arrivals contributed to a 12.3% increase in Maui’s total visitor expenditures, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Total expenditures by visitors who came to Hawaii in May 2012 rose 17.5% compared to the previous year (or $159.3 million) to $1.1 billion, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. This was the best total expenditures on record for the month of May.

There were 622,899 total visitors to Hawaii in May 2012, an increase of 12.5% from a year ago. This was also a new record in arrivals for the month of May, surpassing the previous high of 599,842 visitors in May 2007.

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Higher daily spending (+2.6% from May 2011 to $190 per person) also contributed to the record total visitor expenditures.

Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson

For the month of May 2012, Maui visitor daily spending rose 4% to $193 per son and growth in arrivals rose 6.8% for an overall increase of 12.3% in total visitor expenditure to $248.1 million compared to May 2011.

The top four visitor markets showed growth in arrivals to Maui compared to May 2011: Japan (+9.3%), US West (+6.9%), US East (+3.4%) and Canada (+5%). For the first five months of 2012, total arrivals to Maui rose 6.1% while total visitor expenditures increased 16.6% to $1.6 billion.

A total of 16,105 visitors came by cruise ship or by air to board cruise ships in May 2012, up 21% compared to last May.  Five out-of-state cruise ships toured the islands with 7,224 visitors on board, compared to 4,646 visitors on two out-of-state cruise ships in May 2011.

Since more visitors came directly by cruise ship in May 2012, fewer visitors spent time in the Hawaiian Islands before their cruise. As a result, the average length of stay by cruise visitors (8.09 days, down from 10.81 days in May 2011) and visitor days (-9.5%) were lower compared to a year ago.

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