By Wendy Osher
The state recorded the highest July on record for both visitor spending and arrivals, according to new data released by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority.
Statewide, visitor spending was up 2.6% to $1.35 billion; and arrivals were up 2.5% to 772,106 in July, compared to the same month in 2013, the report stated.
Here on Maui, the report states that higher daily spending in July of 2014 (up 10.3% to $206 per person) among the 225,727 visitors (up 0.2%) to Maui contributed to an 8.2% gain in visitor expenditures to $365.8 million.
The data notes that visitor arrivals remained stable for the month. In referencing year-to-date data, Maui arrivals were up 0.2%; and visitor expenditures were up 9.6% to $2.4 billion.
The report also notes that visitors to Maui in July of 2014 spent an average 7.85 days on the island, down 2% from the same month last year.
Data for other islands within Maui County includes the following:
- On Molokaʻi, visitor arrivals were up 7.9% to 5,170, and visitor expenditures dropped 17.8% to $2.3 million. Year-to-date data shows visitor arrivals up 5.4% to 33,703, and visitor expenditures are up 4.3% to $18.9 million. Visitors to Molokaʻi spent an average of 3.74 days on the island, and spent $119.20 per person per day in July of 2014.
- On Lānaʻi, visitor arrivals were down 11.5% to ; and visitor expenditures were down 39.5% to $4.6 million, compared to 7.6 million in July of 2013. Year-to-date data showed visitor expenditures have dropped 18.4% to $39.1 million. Visitors to Lānaʻi spent an average of 3.17 days on the island, and spent $264.40 per person per day.
HTA president and chief executive officer Mike McCartney issued a press release statement saying, “With visitor expenditures up on the neighbor islands, with an exception to Lānaʻi, we are pleased that our collective efforts to increase visitor distribution across the state continue to result in increased dollars and other economic benefits to the neighbor islands.”
He also noted that year-to-date, the state continues to “pace ahead of the record-breaking year for our tourism economy in 2013, with nearly $212 million more in visitor expenditures and $23 million in additional tax revenue to the state in comparison to the same period last year.”
Some other data from around the state included in the report notes that visitor arrivals to Oʻahu were up 1.7%, down 1.9% on Hawaiʻi Island, and relatively unchanged on Kauaʻi at -0.7%. Total visitor expenditures declined 2.4% on Oʻahu to $4.2 billion, but increased 6.5% to $1.2 billion on Hawaiʻi Island, and was up 5.5% on Kauaʻi to $887 million so far this year.
“While we initially projected a slight decline in air seats from North America, we have seen a slight growth with Delta Air Lines adding additional flights and Hawaiian Airlines redeploying aircrafts that were previously used for international routes,” said McCartney.
He continued saying the focus will be to ensure there is sufficient demand to sustain the increase in seats from the mainland.