Maui Visitor Arrivals, Spending Increase in March

April 28, 2016, 1:41 PM HST · Updated April 28, 2:17 PM
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Maui image: Krannichfeld Photography

Maui image: Krannichfeld Photography

The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority released visitor statistics for Maui, the Neighbor Islands and the state as a whole for March 2016.

MAUI

Maui visitor arrivals (+1% to 232,675) increased this March compared to March 2015. Visitor days (+3.2%) also increased in March 2016.

Higher daily spending (+1.1% to $204 per person) contributed to an increase in visitor expenditures (+4.3% to $397.4 million).

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Growth in arrivals from the US West (+8.9%) and US East (+1.5%) markets offset declines from Canada (-13.7%) and Japan (-26.9%).

More visitors stayed exclusively on Maui (+8.1%) compared to March 2015, topping the list other Hawaiian Islands for exclusive stays in March 2016.

OTHER ISLANDS

Among the three other major Hawaiian Islands, O‘ahu visitor arrivals (-.8%) and visitor expenditures
(-.5%) declined slightly in March 2016 compared to the year prior.

Hawai‘i Island experienced a small drop in visitor arrivals (-1.1%), but increased visitor expenditures (+1.1%) for the month.

Kaua‘i recorded decreases in both visitor arrivals (-3.5%) and visitor expenditures (-4.3%) in March 2016.

More visitors stayed exclusively Kaua‘i (+6.5%), and Hawai‘i Island (+4.6%), while fewer visitors went to multiple islands (-6.3%) than a year ago.

STATE

Total visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands in March 2016 set a new record for the month with 786,262 visitors representing a small increase (+.8%) from the previous year, according to preliminary statistics released today by the HTA. Total visitor days were up slightly (+.6%) from March 2015.

Visitor arrivals on airlines increased (+1.8% to 779,388), with growth reported from US West market (+4.2% to 316,591), US East market (+4% to 176,894) and international markets (+6.8% to 92,413) other than Japan and Canada. Arrivals declined from Japan (-.7% to 126,943) and Canada (-13.8% to 66,548).

Visitor arrivals by cruise ships dropped (-53.2% to 6,874) in March 2016, as five ships came to the islands versus eight ships in March 2015. In addition, the Hawaii home-ported cruise ship was in dry dock for refurbishment the first two weeks of March, resulting in two voyages not being offered that would have attracted about 4,000 visitors by air to Hawaii to tour the islands.

Total visitor expenditures of $1.3 billion (+0.3%) in March 2016 was comparable to a year ago. Visitor expenditures increased from U.S. West (+4% to $451.6 million), U.S. East (+1.2% to $303.2 million) and international markets (+12.1% to $220.7 million) other than Japan and Canada. Visitor expenditures declined from Japan (-5.6% to $156.7 million) and Canada (-18.6% to $132.3 million).

Statewide average daily spending of $183 per person in March 2016 remained unchanged from March 2015, as higher spending by visitors from other international markets balanced lower spending by visitors from US East, Japan and Canada markets.

There was a slight growth in total air seats (+.7% to 1,058,805) to the Hawaiian Islands. Scheduled seats increased from the Other Asia market (+20.1%), Canada (+9.6%), US East (+6%) and Oceania (+3.8%), offsetting a drop in seats from Japan (-8.4%).

“Hawai‘i’s tourism industry is fortunate to have enjoyed a strong first quarter, one that has the state ahead of last year’s record-setting pace,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO. “However, success in tourism is never guaranteed from year-to-year and even month-to-month. We all know too well in Hawai‘i how rapidly tourism’s prospects can falter due to factors beyond our control.

“Our marketing of the Hawai‘i travel experience must continue to be aggressive, innovative and targeted to position the Hawaiian Islands as a preeminent destination with today’s global travelers,” Szigeti continued. “To do any less would be irresponsible to the interests of all the families and businesses statewide who rely on tourism’s continued success.

“More than marketing, it’s the aloha, hospitality and commitment to celebrating the Hawaiian culture by our residents and tourism industry professionals that sets these beautiful islands apart from our competing destinations,” said Szigeti. “We will continue to strive for that important balance of welcoming our visitors, protecting our environment, supporting the industry and respectfully honoring our culture. Mahalo everyone for contributing to tourism’s success and making Hawai‘i such a wonderful place to live and visit.”

View the full HTA report here.

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