Maui Visitor Arrivals, Spending Increase from March 2014
By Maui Now Staff
On Maui, visitor days increased 5.2% and total visitor expenditures increased by 4.6% compared to March 2014.
Among the other larger Hawaiian Islands, Oʻahu visitor days were up 6%, Hawaiʻi Island increased by 7.9 and Kauaʻi rose 4.4%. Although Kauaʻi experienced and 8.1% increase in visitor expenditures, they were down significantly on Hawaiʻi Island, with a 7.9% decrease, and also on Oʻahu with a 5.2% decrease.
Although the total visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands in March 2015 rose to 780,056 visitors–an increase of 7%–according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, the state’s total visitor expenditures were down 1.3 percent to $3.8 billion.
For the first quarter of 2015, total arrivals to the islands grew 3% to 2,120,673 visitors.
There were 1,046,467 total air seats to Hawaiʻi in March 2015, up 6.5 percent from a year ago. Arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands by air increased 6.6 percent to 765,358 visitors; arrivals by cruise ships were up 38.8 percent to 14,698 visitors.
Despite lower average daily spending (-2.9% to $183 per person), total visitor expenditures grew 3% to $1.3 billion due to a 6.2 percent increase in total visitor days compared to March 2014.
“Visitor expenditures for the state’s lead economic driver have plateaued during the first quarter of 2015 following three years of significant growth,” said Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority CEO Ronald Williams in a press statement. “However, with increased air seat inventory and spring break falling earlier this year, visitor arrivals increased three percent to 2.1 million visitors through March 2015.”
“The softening of the market can be attributed to lower average daily spending (down 4.2% to $189.8), as visitors within primary markets are adjusting their vacation budgets and length of stay to economic factors like fluctuating exchange rates,” Williams continued.
“Since the US dollar remains strong in some of our major international markets, we continue to work with our global contractors to roll out innovative campaigns like airline mileage promotions and other brand partnerships to ease the cost of travel to Hawaiʻi,” Williams said.
“We are also pleased to welcome additional airlift from our core U. market with Virgin America’s inaugural flights to Oʻahu and Maui this fall,” said Williams. “These routes will help to increase access and arrivals to the state and enhance HTA’s efforts to balance visitor distribution to all of the Hawaiian Islands. We continue to work with our global contractors and airline partners to sustain this boost in airlift and identify potential markets for growth.”
For the US West, arrivals by air climbed 13.3 percent to 303,827 visitors. Combined with increased daily spending–1.3% to $161 per person)–visitor expenditures jumped 12.1 percent to $434.2 million.
US East arrivals grew 2.6 percent to 170,013 visitors, but daily spending was down 2.7% to $186 per person compared to March 2014. This resulted in a 1.8 percent drop in visitor expenditures to $299.7 million.
Arrivals from Japan fell 5.7 percent to 127,400 visitors. Much lower daily spending–down 14.9% to $223 per person–also contributed to a 21.7 percent decrease in visitor expenditures to $165.6 million.
Canadian arrivals grew 4.3 percent to 77,237 visitors in March 2015. Daily spending increased by 9.3% to $165 per person and visitors days increased over last year at this time by 1.7% to 12.74 days. This led to a 15.9 percent growth in expenditures to $162.5 million.
Arrivals from all other markets were up 15.7 percent to 86,880 visitors. Combined expenditures from these visitors rose 10.5 percent to $196 million.
Scheduled air seats from Oceania (up 25.7%), Canada (up 14.1%), US West (up 10.1%) and US East (up 8.7%) increased, offsetting fewer seats from Japan (down 7.8%) and other Asia (down 7.6%).