Hawaiʻi Visitor Spending Increased Nearly 10% in July
Visitors spent a total of $1.59 billion around Hawaiʻi in July 2017, a 9.8% increase from a year ago, due to a 6.8% visitor increase fueled by growth in arrivals by air (+6.4% to 888,236) and by cruise ships (+282.5% to 3,641), according to preliminary data released today by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority.
On Maui, visitor spending grew (+8.4% to $432.5 million) year-over-year due to increases in visitor days (+1.6%) and daily spending (+6.7% to $212 per person). Visitor arrivals were up (+2.6% to 261,964) with growth from Japan (+24.7%), US East (+8.7%) and US West (+3%) offsetting fewer arrivals from Canada (-9.3%).
Through the first seven months of 2017, both visitor spending (+5.3% to $2.84 billion) and arrivals (+3.3% to 1,622,565) have exceeded the results for the same period last year.
Two of the four largest visitor markets to Hawaiʻi, US West and US East, reported year-over-year increases in visitor spending and arrivals. However, visitor spending decreased in July for the Canada market (-8.9% to $46.6 million), visitor arrivals rose (+3.4% to 26,691) but daily spending declined (-10.6% to $148 per person) from a year ago.
The US East market led the growth in visitor spending (+21.7% to $452.5 million), boosted by growth in arrivals supported by increased air seat capacity from Dallas and Minneapolis (+11% to 208,530) and higher daily spending (+10.2% to $215 per person).
Spending by visitors from US West rose (+9.5% to $598.8 million) versus last year, boosted by an increase in arrivals (+5.4% to 385,235 visitors) and higher daily spending (+3.7% to $168 per person).
The Japan market continued to report year-over-year growth in visitor spending and arrivals in July 2017 due to increased air service to Kona and Honolulu. Visitor spending grew (+5.5% to $192.5 million), fueled by increased arrivals (+7% to 136,300), which offset slightly lower daily spending (-1.6% to $232 per person).
Visitor spending from All Other International markets increased in July 2017 (+1.1% to $295.2 million), as growth in arrivals (+2.8% to 131,482) offset lower daily spending.
The island of Hawaiʻi reported a sharp increase in visitor spending in July 2017 (+23.2% to $216.7) compared to a year ago. Visitor spending also grew on Oʻahu (+10.3% to $764.4 million) and Maui (+8.4% to $432.5 million), but decreased slightly on Kauaʻi (-0.7% to $165.5 million).
Total air seats serving Hawaiʻi increased (+3.1% to 1,139,710) compared to last year. Double-digit growth in scheduled seats from US East (+21.8%) and Japan (+18.3%) offset declines from Oceania (-5.1%) and US West (-1.2%).
George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, issued the following statement regarding Hawaiʻi’s visitor statistics in July 2017.
“July is typically the peak month of the year for Hawaiʻi tourism and one that industry partners count on to generate good results. Even so, the 9.8% in visitor spending and 6.8% increase in visitor arrivals in July completely exceeds any forecasts that were made for the month. That sentiment is also true for the first seven months of the year.
“Our State is very fortunate that demand for the Hawaiʻi travel experience continues to be strong in 2017, especially from the U.S. mainland and Japan. Hawaiʻi’s economy as a whole is benefiting from tourism’s unexpected degree of success, with the positive impact extending to our State tax base. Through the first seven months, Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry has generated $1.16 billion in State tax revenue, an increase of $94.8 million over the same period last year. This revenue helps our State to support programs that makes our communities stronger, especially for those in need.
“We recognize some residents have expressed concerns about the growth of tourism on our islands’ way of life. Sustainable tourism is a balance that our tourism industry is striving to achieve for the good of everyone. This topic is a discussion that requires public and private stakeholders to come together and find solutions that will benefit both our leading industry and the community-at-large.
“Sustainable tourism is the theme of HTA’s Global Tourism Summit, taking place Sept. 19-21, at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center. We encourage people to register and participate in sessions and presentations that are intended to make Hawaii a better place for residents and travelers to enjoy.”