Maui Business

Continued Tourism Growth Attributed to New Nonstop Flights

December 31, 2012, 9:28 AM HST
* Updated December 31, 9:29 AM
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Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800 over Molokai cliffs. Courtesy photo.

By Sonia Isotov

A total of 2,087,644 visitors went to Maui in the first 11 months of 2012, an increase of 5.8% from the same period last year, according to preliminary statistics released last week by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.

“In November 2012, increased daily spending and arrivals contributed to a 21.4% growth in Maui’s total visitor expenditures to $273.8 million,” said Mike McCartney, president and chief executive officer of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, in a written statement.

“There was growth in arrivals from US West, US East, Canada and Japan compared to November 2011.”

New nonstop flights to Maui contributed to the continued growth in November. Both Alaska Airlines and Allegiant started offering nonstop service between Bellingham, Wash. and Kahului in November, which contributed to the growth in island arrivals for the month.

File photo.

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The HTA anticipates further increases in arrivals to Maui through December with the holiday season travel and festivals and events like the Wailea Wine & Food Festival and Maui Pops Orchestra Concert.

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Statewide, total expenditures by visitors who came to Hawai‘i in November 2012 grew 22.7% (or +$208 million1) compared to last November to $1.1 billion. Contributing to the increase was a 14.5% growth in total arrivals (to 651,158 visitors) and higher average daily spending (+10.2% to $195 per person).

Hawaii’s tourism economy is on pace for a record-breaking year with a total of $12.9 billion in visitor expenditures through November 2012, $2.1 billion more than the same period last year. Every day for the first 11 months of the year, visitors who came to the Hawaii by air spent $193, which is $16 more per day than last year.

“In July, the HTA board of directors approved aggressive targets to reach 7.89 million visitors and $13.9 billion in expenditures. At the current pace, we anticipate reaching, if not exceeding these targets,” said McCartney.

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“We are optimistic as we look to the coming year, with the greatest potential from our international markets. There has been tremendous growth from the Asia and Oceania regions, as a result of numerous new flights and increases in flight frequency in 2012 with more expected in 2013.”

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