Hawai‘i’s tourism economy continues to pace slightly ahead of last year contributing $293 million more toward the state’s economy, which translates to $1.4 billion in state tax revenue for the first 11 months of the year, a 2.3 percent increase from 2013. Maui led the state substantially in all growth categories. Moloka’i also experienced substantial growth in most categories – while Lana’i encountered less growth (and some loss) while plans are in the works for major resort renovations there. This morning, Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO Ronald Williams issued the following statement and statistical highlights:
“We continue to focus our efforts on ensuring the long-term sustainability of one of the state’s largest economic drivers by distributing the benefits of tourism across the state. Throughout the year, the neighbor islands have seen growth in spending surpassing last year’s records. Through November, total expenditures are up on Maui (+11.9% to $3.7 billion), Moloka‘i (+10.2% to $29.9 million), Kaua‘i (+6.6% to $1.3 billion) and Hawai‘i Island (+5.4% to $1.7 billion).
“Increases in per person per day (+9.4% to $207.9) and average length of stay (+1.1% to 8.2 days), helped to boost visitor expenditures on Maui through November. Other contributing factors included growth in visitor arrivals (+1.1% to 2.2 million visitors) and a jump in air seats (+6.2% to 1.8 million air seats) to Kahului.”
Williams continued, “Arrivals and spending from our developing international markets also continue to grow as we work toward diversifying our tourism profile and increasing first-time arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands. This has helped to balance our core markets like Japan, where economic uncertainty has led to slight declines in visitor arrivals and decreases in length of stay, which are affecting total expenditures and may hinder us from reaching year-end targets for this market.
“On the other hand, we have seen a boost in arrivals from our core U.S. market due to an influx of air seats. As our airline partners monitor their airfares to meet load factors, it is important that we work together to sustain demand to support these routes and ensure that they remain in market.
“Maintaining the momentum and growth in visitor spending and arrivals is important for the state’s overall economy, and we will continue to work collaboratively with our industry partners and global contractors to ensure that our tourism economy continues to thrive in 2015. “