Maui Visitor Spending Up 9.3% to $3.4 Billion

October 28, 2016, 2:37 PM HST · Updated October 28, 2:40 PM
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Tourism/Conventions. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Tourism/Conventions. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Total visitor spending in the Hawaiian Islands increased 10.4% to $1.2 billion in September 2016, setting a new record for the month of September and making it the fourth straight month of year-over-year increases, according to preliminary statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Through September 2016, visitor arrivals increased for Maui (+3.7%), Oʻahu (+2.1%), and the island of Hawaiʻi (+1.3%) while growth for Kauaʻi (+0.2%) was similar to last year. Visitor spending grew for Maui (+9.3% to $3.4 billion), the island of Hawaiʻi (+9.2% to $1.5 billion), and Kauaʻi (+7.7% to $1.2 billion), but declined for Oʻahu (-2.1% to %5.4 billion).

“A strong September highlighted by new records for the month in visitor arrivals and spending means the first three quarters of 2016 was the best ever for our tourism industry, and keeps Hawaiʻi ahead of pace to set new annual records,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority. “This is welcome news for our state, as every business, resident and charitable organization benefits in one way or another by Hawaiʻi having a successful tourism economy,” he said.

Visitor spending in September 2016 rose dramatically from the US East coast, up 29% to $272.7 million.  Double digit increases were also recorded from All Other International Markets, up 13.7% to $295.7 million.  Gains were also recorded from: the US West, up 2.8% to $364 million; Japan, up 3.4% to $191.9 million; and Canada, up 5.5% to $39.2 million compared to September 2015.

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Statewide average daily spending rose to $203 per person, up 4.6% in September 2016, as visitors from most markets spent more on a daily basis, including Canada (+11.1%), U.S. East (+9.6%), Japan (+3%), US West (+0.6%), and All Other International Markets (+0.9%) versus the year prior.

Total visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands also set a new record for the month of September with 666,605 visitors in September 2016, a 3% increase from a year ago. September marked 20 consecutive months of year-over-year growth in arrivals, extending a streak from February 2015. Total visitor days rose by 5.6%.

A total of 656,729 visitors arrived on airlines (+5.3%), while 9,875 visitors came to Hawaiʻi via cruise ships (-57.6%). Leading the growth in air arrivals were visitors from US East (+19% to 127,077), All Other International Markets (+6.6% to 126,594), and US West (+3.1% to 249,795), which offset fewer visitors coming from Canada (-3.4% to 19,940) and Japan (-1.6% to 133,623).

In September 2016, all four larger Hawaiian Islands saw growth in visitor arrivals and expenditures compared to last September.

Total air capacity to Hawaiʻi rose slightly (+0.6% to 887,846 seats) in September 2016 compared to the year prior. Growth in scheduled seats from Other Asia (+20.1%), Oceania (+6.6%), US East (+2.2%), and US West (+1.6%) offset declines from Canada (-7.8%) and Japan (-7.4%).

Through the first nine months of 2016, total visitor arrivals (+2.6% to 6,698,545) and visitor spending (+3.7% to $11.6 billion) exceeded the same period last year. Arrivals increased from U.S. West (+4.1%), U.S. East (+3.5%), and All Other International Markets (+6.5%), but declined from Canada (-8.9%). Year-to-date growth in arrivals from Japan (+0.3%) was flat compared to 2015.

There were gains in visitor spending from US West (+5.4% to $4.1 billion), US East (+5.7% to $2.9 billion), and All Other International Markets (+6.6% to $2.3 billion), but no growth from Japan (+0.3% to $1.5 billion), and a decrease in spending by visitors from Canada (-13.2% to $689.7 million).

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