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Longer Stays on Maui Boost Visitor Spending in February

March 29, 2018, 10:29 AM HST · Updated April 2, 8:20 AM
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Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $1.52 billion in February 2018, a gain of 12.7 percent compared to a year ago, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority

Visitor spending up on Maui. File photo of Grand Wailea by Wendy Osher.

Here on Maui, visitor spending grew by 6.1% in February to $429.8 million, fueled by an increase in visitor days (+6.3%). Average daily spending was down slightly on Maui (-0.2%) to $232 per person, similar to a year ago. Arrivals on Maui were up 7.4%, with growth in visitors from US West (+9.9%), US East (+9.9%) and Canada (+6.2%) offsetting fewer visitors from Japan (-31%).

Meantime, the average daily census increased 6.3 percent to 66,224 visitors in February. Through the first two months, visitor spending on Maui was up 12.4% to $978.3 billion and arrivals were up 6.4% to 448,135, surpassing the totals covering the same period from a year ago.

George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, commented on the new data saying, “February was an outstanding month for Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry that reflected the combined impact of strong travel demand and increased air access from our primary and secondary markets. The $1.52 billion in visitor spending that poured into the State’s economy also generated $375 million in state tax revenue, which puts Hawaii more than $29 million ahead of last year’s pace through two months.”

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He noted significant growth in visitor spending from major markets in the US mainland, Japan and Canada, along with a strong resurgence from the other international markets where travel to the Hawaiian Islands is promoted on a continuing basis.

“All four island counties benefited from this broad foundation of visitor travel from global markets, but it was especially encouraging to see visitor spending on Oʻahu increase by 19.6% to $674 million for the month. That was, by far, the largest monthly increase year-over-year for Oahu in several years,” said Szigeti.

He continued saying, “Maintaining the strength of Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry is a team effort that requires the collaboration of everyone with a stake in its future. We appreciate the continued support of our industry partners and applaud the hardworking tourism professionals who contribute every day to the industry’s success through their dedication to service, hospitality and sharing the aloha spirit with our visitors.”

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Other island highlights include the following:

O‘ahu: Visitor spending rose significantly in February (+19.6% to $673.9 million), boosted by growth in visitor days (+7.9%) and higher average daily spending (+10.9% to $217 per person). Arrivals increased (+8.9% to 456,916) with more visitors from US West (+13.8%), Canada (+8.2%) and US East (+7.5%) offsetting fewer visitors from Japan (-1.7%). The average daily census rose 7.9% to 111,095 visitors in February. Through the first two months, both visitor spending (+7.9% to $1.34 billion) and arrivals (+5.9% to 917,434) were higher than the same period last year.

Island of Hawai‘i: Visitor spending rose considerably in February (+14.8% to $245.3 million), bolstered by increases in visitor days (+13.8%) and average daily spending (+0.9% to $203 per person) compared to a year ago. Arrivals increased (+18.4% to 161,468), with more visitors from Japan (+49.7%), U.S. East (+13.7%), U.S. West (+8.9%) and Canada (+3.9%). The average daily census grew 13.8 percent to 43,195 visitors in February. Through the first two months, growth was realized in both visitor spending (+7.7% to $513.4 million) and arrivals (+11.2% to 319,825) compared to a year ago.

Kaua‘i: Visitor spending increased slightly in February (+0.7% to $158 million). Although visitor days (+9.3%) increased, the average daily spending was lower (-7.8% to $196 per person) year-over-year. Visitor arrivals grew (+10.1% to 103,956), with more visitors from Japan (+34.1%), U.S. West (+12.4%) and U.S. East (+11.3%) offsetting fewer visitors from Canada (-5.8%). The average daily census rose 9.3 percent to 28,842 visitors in February. Through the first two months, both visitor spending (+1.6% to $349.1 million) and arrivals (+10.1% to 213,239) increased versus the same period last year.

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