Visitor Spending in 1st Half Year Up 9.9% on Maui to $2.1B
By Wendy Osher
Visitor spending in Hawaii reached $7.4 billion in the first half of 2014, keeping the state on pace with last year’s record-breaking year for spending and arrivals, according to new data released by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority.
During the first half of the year, visitor expenditures contributed to $178 million more in the state’s economy compared to last year, according to the HTA report.
Visitors to Maui spent a total average of $11.4 million per day in the first half of 2014. During that period, the HTA notes that daily spending contributed to growth in visitor expenditures on Maui, up 9.9% to $2.1 billion.
In June, visitors to Maui dropped 1.5%, but expenditures on Maui rose 1.1% over the same period; on Molokaʻi, visitor arrivals were up 6.4%, and expenditures were up 9.7%; and on Lānaʻi, visitor arrivals were down 30.8%, and spending was down 27.5% in June compared to the same month a year before according to the HTA report.
Per person per day spending on Maui was up 2.3% to $199.60 in June, and up 6.4% in the first six months of the year to $205.90; Molokaʻi was down 2.2% to $138.10 in June, and up 3.4% in the first six months of the year to $121.50; and Lānaʻi was up 4% in June to $343, and up 0.7% for the first half of the year to $313.60, according to the HTA.
Despite the gains, visitor officials say they are cognizant of changing trends in visitor length of stay and spending. Looking ahead, the Hawaii Tourism Authority projects a bump in air seats from North America in the latter half of the year from Los Angeles and Seattle.
“Increased competition within these major hubs, along with the redeployment of aircrafts previously used for international routes to service domestic routes are contributing to the increase in air seats. However, more visitors are now booking travel within a shorter timeframe (from three to six months to 30 days), which causes more uncertainty in forecasting the second half of the year,” said HTA president and CEO Mike McCartney in a press release announcement.
“Maintaining the momentum that Hawaiʻi’s tourism economy experienced last year will be a priority for us as we look to the latter half of 2014 and 2015. We look forward to providing opportunities and insight on how we can work together to continue this growth at our upcoming Hawaiʻi Tourism Conference on Aug. 28 and 29,” he said.