Maui Business

Maui Set New Visitor Arrival Record in 2015

January 30, 2016, 9:00 AM HST
* Updated February 1, 7:19 AM
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File photo.

File photo.

Last year, Maui and set a new record for annual visitor arrivals, according to preliminary year-end statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Maui arrivals increased 1.5% to 230,868 visitors, and visitor days increased 1.1% in December 2015.

Visitor expenditures on Maui also grew, increasing 4.9% to $436.8 million, bolstered by higher daily spending, which increased by 3.7% to $210 per person.

Growth in arrivals to Maui from the US West market increased 8% and the US East market increased 4%, offsetting declines from Canada (-12.1%) and Japan (-7%).

For the fourth straight year, the Aloha State’s tourism industry set new records for visitor arrivals and visitor expenditures in 2015. O‘ahu also set a new record for arrivals; however, arrivals to Hawai‘i Island and Kauai did not exceed the record level of visitors seen back in 2007.

A record total of 8,649,357 visitors arrived in Hawai‘i in 2015—a 4.1 percent increase over 2014, producing a record total of $15.2 billion in visitor expenditures—an increase of 2.3 percent year-over-year.

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Total visitor days for 2015 grew 3.5% and on average, there were 214,469 visitors in Hawai‘i on any given day (average daily census)—an increase of 3.5% versus 2014.

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Visitor arrivals on airlines grew 4.3% to 8,533,978 in 2015, driven by increases from US West, US East, Australia and China markets. More direct air service to Hawai‘i supported growth in arrivals from these markets.

In contrast, eight fewer out-of-state cruise ships served the islands in 2015, with 115,378 visitors—a decrease of 7.3% compared to 2014.

For the month of December 2015, Hawai‘i welcomed 794,246 visitors, an increase of 3.7%, producing total visitor expenditures of $1.5 billion, an increase of 2.5% (+$37 million) versus December 2014. The average daily spending of $197 per person was similar to December 2014.

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“Congratulations to everyone in our tourism industry for contributing to Hawai‘i’s record-setting year,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, about the release of Hawai‘i’s visitor statistics for 2015. “Everyone shares in the accomplishments of tourism, and all of our communities benefit from its success.”

“Tourism is off to a strong start in 2016 and the outlook for the year is bright and optimistic,” Szigeti continued. “The public can be assured, however, that HTA is not resting on the laurels of tourism’s past success. Tourism is incredibly competitive. We are utilizing HTA’s state funding wisely, efficiently, responsibly and aggressively to compete for the attention of global travelers against destinations worldwide.”

2015 Hawai‘i Highlights

Arrivals by Air
US West: Arrivals grew in every month, resulting in an annual increase of 7.1% to 3,518,472 visitors. Arrivals from the Pacific and Mountain regions rose by 7.1% and 8.2%, respectively. Combined with higher daily spending (+1.6% to $163 per person), total expenditures increased 6.8% to $5.3 billion.

US.East: Arrivals grew 3.1 percent to 1,788,573 visitors versus 2014, with increases realized from all regions. However, lower average daily spending (-2.7% to $201 per person) resulted in a slight drop (-0.6%) in visitor expenditures to $3.7 billion.

Japan: Arrivals of 1,499,167 visitors was down slightly (-0.8%) compared to 2014. Decreased daily spending (-10% to $246 per person) also contributed to a 9.8% decline in visitor expenditures to $2.2 billion.

Canada: Arrivals dropped 1.4 percent to 517,238 visitors. Expenditures declined slightly to $1.1 billion (-0.9%), despite average daily spending ($162 per person) being higher compared to 2014 ($159 per person).

Other Markets: Arrivals from Oceania (+7.2% to 397,704) and Other Asia (+2.7% to 378,444) grew compared to 2014. Arrivals from Europe (+0.3% to 143,435 visitors) were similar to a year ago but arrivals from Latin America declined (-7.6% to 27,806). Combined expenditures by these visitors rose 10.5% to $2.8 billion.

Air Seats: Total air capacity in 2015 rose 5.8 percent to a record 11,912,851 seats. Growth in airline seats from Oceania (+16.4%), Canada (+14.9%), US East (+8.6%) and US West (+8%) offset fewer seats from Other Asia (-7.6%) and Japan (-3.3%) compared to 2014.

Download the full report.

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