Maui Visitor Arrivals and Spending Increase in February

March 29, 2016, 1:00 PM HST · Updated March 29, 12:03 PM
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Photo credit: Pacific Whale Foundation.

Photo credit: Pacific Whale Foundation.

Maui’s average daily visitor census per day increased 1.8% to 61,986 visitors in February 2016, with visitor spending rising by .9% to $13.3 million per day, compared to the previous month, according to a recent report by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

The island’s 4.8% growth in arrivals from the US West market and 2.6% growth from the US East in February offset declines from Canada, which was down 3.9%, and Japan, which decreased by 1.4%.

Year-to-date, the average daily visitor census was ahead of last February, increasing by 1.5% to 63,939 visitors per day, with visitor spending up by 3.8% to $14.4 million per day versus last year.

“February was a strong month for Hawai‘i’s visitor industry, with the bonus of leap year adding an extra day for businesses statewide to generate revenue,” said HTP President and CEO George D. Szigeti said regarding the state’s statistics. “February’s average daily visitor spending of $43.3 million was led by the US West ($14.3 million) and US East ($11.2 million) markets, which comprised nearly 60% of the total.

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Statewide, the $43.3 million per day total spending by all visitors (by airlines and cruise ships) in February 2016 was a gain of 1.2% compared to February 2015, according to preliminary statistics released today by the HTA.

There were 218,150 total visitors in Hawai‘i on any given day (average daily census), representing no growth (-0.4%) from a year ago.

For visitors arriving by airlines, the US West market average daily census (+2.1% to 82,830 visitors per day) and visitor spending (+7.3% to $14.3 million per day) increased in February 2016 compared to last year.

The US East market’s average daily census (+3.6% to 55,745 visitors per day) and visitor spending (+9% to $11.2 million per day) also rose in February year-over-year.

The Japanese average daily census (-5.4% to 22,181 visitors per day) and visitor spending (-8.7% to $5.4 million per day) declined in February 2016 versus last year, as did Canadian average daily census (-14.5% to 26,754 visitors per day) and visitor spending (-27.8% to $4 million per day).

Impacting visitor volume in February was a sharp decline in arrivals by cruise ships. Only two ships visited the islands in February 2016 compared to six ships last year, a decrease of nearly 7,000 visitors.

Additionally, the Hawai‘i home-ported cruise ship was in dry dock for refurbishment the last two weeks of February, resulting in a loss of two voyages that equates to a decline of about 4,000 visitors who would have flown to Hawai‘i and toured the islands.

Total air seats to the Hawaiian Islands increased in February 2016 (+7.5% to 958,771), with the daily average also up (+3.8% to 33,061 seats per day) compared to last February. Growth in scheduled air seats from US West (+8.2%), US East (+14.9%), Canada (+9.2%), Oceania (+3.5%) and Other Asia (+30.7%) offset a drop in air seats from Japan (-3.3%).

State Year-to-Date Statistics
For the first two months of 2016, the average daily census of total visitors (by airlines and cruise ships) increased (+1.3% to 229,358 visitors per day) from year-to-date 2015. Total visitor spending also increased (+2% to $2.8 billion), representing an average of $45.3 million per day versus $44.4 million per day last year.

“We are maximizing the use of our marketing resources to promote the Hawaii visitor experience and connect with travelers planning their next vacation,” Szigeti concluded. “Global competition for travel consumers is intense, and we appreciate all the support of Hawaii’s industry partners as they market the islands in selling their accommodations, products and services.”

NOTE: February 2016 had 29 days, so comparisons of arrivals and expenditures to February 2015 are not included in the narrative. The totals are in the online charts along with the complete report.

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