Hawaii’s visitor industry has continued to surpass last year’s record-breaking numbers in both arrivals and spending. Visitor arrivals during the first eight months of the year reached 5,597,764 (+0.1%) while visitor expenditures reached nearly $10 billion (+2%), which translates to nearly $1.1 billion in total tax revenue for the state. Maui led the state with a substantial jump in visitor spending despite a softening in arrival numbers in August. View the entire report here.
For the first eight months of the year, an average of 23,000 visitors arrived to the Hawaiian Islands each day, contributing to an average daily census of 208,000 visitors. This generated an estimated $41 million in expenditures per day, 2 percent more than the same period last year.
Mike McCartney, CEO of Hawai’i Tourism Authority, released the following statement with the August numbers:
“We were pleased to see that most of the neighbor islands continued to experience a boost in visitor spending through August as we have continued to focus on promoting visitor arrivals and spending across the state.
“We also continue to expand our efforts in developing markets, especially in the Asia Pacific region, to diversify Hawaii’s tourism profile and balance slight dips in arrivals from our core North America market. Arrivals from both China (+30.1%) and Korea (+20.2%) continue to increase by double digits, year-over-year, with China being the highest daily spenders of all markets.”
While visitor arrivals from Japan remain stable, a recent major hike in consumption tax and a weakening Japanese yen led to a slight decline in visitor spending year-to-date through August, in comparison to 2013. McCartney added, “However, we anticipate seeing a boost next month due to the two-day Arashi concert that took place on September 18th and 19th. The popular Japanese boy band attracted more than 15,000 Japanese visitors during the softer shoulder period, which is also expected to generate approximately $20-million in visitor expenditures. Our contractor, Hawaii Tourism Japan is also working on additional innovative programs to attract Japan’s mature market to the Hawaiian Islands.
“As competition becomes more aggressive, the HTA will continue to work with all of its global marketing contractors and industry partners on maintaining the momentum and success of Hawaii’s tourism economy, focusing on implementing strategies that target long-term sustainability for the industry.