Maui Business

Double-Digit Growth in Visitor Spending on Maui

May 25, 2017, 9:57 AM HST
* Updated May 25, 10:00 AM
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Visitor spending statewide grew 9% over last year, fueled by the strong performance of Hawaiʻi’s core markets, US West, US East, Japan and Canada. The economies of Hawaiʻi’s four major islands felt the positive impact of these results, highlighted by Maui, Kauaʻi and the island of Hawaiʻi all reporting double-digit growth in visitor spending.

Kepaniwai Park at ʻĪao reopens to busy visitor and residential traffic. PC: 4.10.17 by Wendy Osher.

On Maui, visitor days were up 8.6% and daily spending was up 2.4% to $210 per person.  This contributed to a sizeable gain in visitor spending in April 2017, up 11.2% to $371.2 million. Visitor arrivals to Maui also rose 7% to 226,511, with increases from Canada (+17.2%), US West (+8%), US East (+6.6) and Japan (+4.2%).  Through April 2017, both visitor spending (+4.5% to $1.7 billion) and arrivals (+2.6% to 886,859) to Maui surpassed year-to-date 2016.

Visitors spent a total of $1.3 billion in the Hawaiian Islands in April 2017, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority. Total visitor arrivals also grew 7.5% to 752,964 visitors.

George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority said April was a better month than expected, with the Easter holiday and Golden Week in Japan contributing to increased travel demand.

“The State’s tax revenue base continues to benefit from the success of Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry. Through the first four months, $657.2 million in tax revenue has been produced for the State of Hawaiʻi, which is an increase of $60.2 million, or 10.1%, over last year. These are funds that are helping to make lives better for families and communities statewide,” said Szigeti.

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“The credit for Hawaiʻi’s tourism success goes to the industry partners and dedicated employees who engage our visitors daily. Travelers come from around the world to enjoy the Hawaiʻi experience, but most of all it is the warmth of aloha and friendliness of our people that stands out over everything else. Mahalo to our industry partners, stakeholders and tourism employees for helping to make the Hawaiian Islands such an appealing travel destination,” said Szigeti.

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From the U.S West, visitor spending rose in April 2017 (+17% to $490.4 million) boosted by an increase in arrivals (+9.4% to 321,877). Contributing to the increase in visitor arrivals was having the Easter holiday take place in April of this year versus March of last year. US West visitors also spent more per day (+7.5% to $176 per person) this April compared to last year.

From the U.S. East, visitor spending grew in April 2017 (+12.2% to $298.6 million), spurred by an increase in arrivals (+10.7% to 147,532) and higher visitor spending (+1.2% to $215 per person).

The Japan visitor market continued to produce positive results due to the launch of direct air service to Kona, increased air service to Honolulu, and the start of Golden Week, traditionally a period of growth for outbound Japan travel. Visitor spending rose in April 2017 (+4.6% to $145.6 million), as did arrivals (+8.4% to 109,604); however, daily spending of $222 per person was down slightly compared to April 2016 ($227 per person).

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The Canada market continued to recover from sharp decreases in visitor spending and visitor arrivals for most of last year. In April 2017, visitor spending (+21.5% to $90.4 million) and arrivals (+17.9% to 48,952) showed substantial increases compared to a year ago.

Visitor spending from All Other International markets declined in April 2017 (-7.9% to $220.9 million), as lower daily spending offset the increase in arrivals (+2.1% to 109,818).

Visitor spending and arrivals increased for all four larger Hawaiian Islands in April 2017 compared to the year prior. The island of Hawaiʻi, in particular, saw double-digit growth in visitor spending and arrivals, supported by increased direct air service from the US and Japan.

The total number of air seats serving Hawaiʻi in April 2017 was similar (+0.4% to 978,406) to a year ago. Growth in scheduled seats from U.S. East (+14.5%), Japan (+8%) and Canada (+3%) balanced out declines from U.S. West (-1.5%), Other Asia (-10.9%) and Oceania (-13.3%).

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