Visitor Spending up 13.6%, Arrivals up 5.8% on Maui

August 29, 2013, 11:34 AM HST · Updated August 29, 11:39 AM
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Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to be used to improve irrigation practices and crop yield at HC&S. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Scenic Maui. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Visitor expenditures and arrivals increased on Maui in in both July 2013 and year-to-date reports released by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority.

Expenditures increased by 13.6% over the same time last year, and by 13.3% so far this year, with visitors to Maui spending $360 million in July 2013, and a total of $2.3 billion in the first seven months of the year, according to the HTA.

Arrivals to Maui were up 5.8% in July, and 4.1% so far this year, according to HTA numbers.  The report states that a total of 226,113 people visited Maui in July 2013, and 1.4 million visited the island so far this year.

Oneloa or Big Beach in Mākena, file photo by Wendy Osher.

Oneloa or Big Beach in Mākena, file photo by Wendy Osher.

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The average length of stay on Maui was 7.98 days in July 2013; and the average per-person, per-day spending increased to $199.90 on Maui in July, up 4.1% from the same time last year, the report states.

Visitor arrivals were also up on Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi, but spending was down compared to the same month last year.

On Molokaʻi, 4,948 people visited the island in July 2013, up 5.7%; and visitor expenditures dropped 27% to $2 million when compared to the same month last year.  The average length of stay was 4.15 days, with the average person spending $94.90 per day.

On Lānaʻi, 6,765 people visited the island in July 2013, up 10.2%; and visitor expenditures dropped 1.8% to $7.5 million when compared to the same month last year.  The average length of stay was 3.4 days, with the average person spending $325.80 per day.

So far this year, the HTA notes that visitors spent an average of $41 million per day ($11 million in Maui County), supporting more than 167,000 jobs across the state, and providing $911 million in state tax revenue year-to-date.

HTA President Mike McCartney said the overall state economy is recovering with low unemployment and a strong state budget.  He attributed the positive performance to the “collective efforts of our visitor industry and good will from our community.”

“In order for us to maintain this momentum, it is important that we continue to invest in our destination and we are grateful for the renewed funding from the Hawaiʻi State Legislature to achieve this,” said McCartney in an agency press release.

“Maintaining and increasing air access, distributing visitors across all of the Hawaiian Islands, and diversifying our market mix by increasing our Meetings, Conventions and Incentives business, will be priorities as we look to the second half of the year,” said McCartney.

In the long term, McCartney said, it is important to support the development and redevelopment of communities to “improve the infrastructure and quality of life in master planned regions, such as Ko Olina, Banyan Drive in Hilo, Wailea, Princeville and Kona.”

***Supporting information courtesy HTA.

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