Hawaii tourists spend $1.52 billion in February

This article was originally published on eTurboNews
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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 Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA).

“February was an outstanding month for Hawaii’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,” said George D. Szigeti, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA).

Total arrivals to Hawaii increased 10.3 percent to 778,571 visitors in February, supported by growth in arrivals by air service (+10.3% to 764,043) and by cruise ships (+8.4% to 14,528). Total visitor days[1] grew 8.5 percent in February versus a year ago. The average daily census[2], or number of visitors on any given day in February, was 252,965, up 8.5 percent compared to February of last year.

Spending by visitors from the U.S. West market increased (+5.2% to $494.4 million) in February. Total visitor arrivals also rose (+12.5% to 294,082), supported by expanded air service to the neighbor islands. However, the average daily spending by each visitor (-3.9% to $187 per person) was lower in February compared to a year ago.

The U.S. East market reported a sizeable increase in visitor spending (+14.4% to $409.8 million) in February, boosted by growth in visitor arrivals (+10.3% to 176,435) and higher average daily spending (+5.6% to $226 per person).

Visitor spending from the Japan market rose significantly (+15.6% to $202.9 million) in February versus last year. While the growth in visitor arrivals was marginal (+0.9% to 124,648), visitors stayed longer (+3.3% to 5.96 days) and spent more per day (+10.9% to $273 per person) compared to a year ago.

The Canada market saw growth in visitor spending (+9.7% to $148.9 million) in February versus last year, supported by increases in arrivals (+4.9% to 63,863) and average daily spending (+8.5% to $182 per person).

In February, combined visitor spending from All Other International Markets increased sharply (+26.8% to $264 million), boosted by growth in arrivals (+20.9% to 105,016) and higher average daily spending (+7.8% to $262 per person).

All four larger Hawaiian Islands recorded increases in both visitor spending and arrivals in February compared to last year.

A total of 1,005,821 trans-Pacific air seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands in February, up 10.3 percent from a year ago. Growth in air seats from Other Asia (+32.5%), U.S. West (+13.8%), U.S. East (+11%), Canada (+3%) and Oceania (+1.9%) offset a decline in seats from Japan (-3.3%).

Year-to-Date 2018

Through the first two months of 2018, visitor spending (+8.5% to $3.21 billion) exceeded the results from the same period last year, bolstered by growth in visitor arrivals (+7.7% to 1,575,054) and average daily spending (+2.2% to $212 per person).

Visitor spending increased from U.S. West (+6.9% to $1.08 billion), U.S. East (+8.8% to $860.5 million), Japan (+5% to $394.8 million), Canada (+7.8% to $320 million) and All Other International markets (+15.1% to $545 million).

Visitor arrivals increased from U.S. West (+13.3% to 598,173), U.S. East (+6.6% to 354,397), Canada (+5.7% to 133,026) and All Other International markets (+10.9% to 219,269) but declined from Japan (-1.4% to 243,415).

Other Highlights:

• U.S. West: Visitor arrivals increased from the Pacific (+13.3%) and Mountain (+15.3%) regions in February compared to a year ago, with growth reported from Utah (+21.2%), California (+14.2%), Colorado (+14.1%), Oregon (+12.5%), Washington (+10.2%) and Arizona (+8.5%). Through the first two months, arrivals from the Mountain (+14%) and Pacific (+13.3%) regions rose versus the same period last year.

• U.S. East: Visitor arrivals increased from every region in February. Through the first two months, arrivals were up from all regions led by growth from the two largest regions, East North Central (+7.8%) and the South Atlantic (+8.3%).

• Japan: Fewer visitors stayed in hotels (-1.7%) in February while stays in timeshares (+29.2%) and condominiums (+18.3%) increased compared to a year ago. Usage of rental homes continued to be a small segment, but this number has tripled (884 from 292 visitors) compared to a year ago. More visitors made their own travel arrangements (+19%), while fewer visitors purchased group tours (-18%) and package trips (-5.6%).

• Canada: More visitors stayed in hotels (+16.9%) in February versus last year. Stays in bed-and-breakfasts (+17.3%) and rental homes (+4.5%) also increased from a year ago.

• MCI: A total of 51,646 visitors came for meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI) in February, an increase of 7.6 percent from last year. More visitors came to attend conventions (+14.9%) and traveled on incentive trips (+7.4%) but fewer came to attend corporate meetings (-4.7%). Through the first two months, total MCI visitors declined (-3% to 105,265) compared to the same period last year.

[1] Aggregate number of days stayed by all visitors.
[2] Average daily census is the average number of visitors present on a single day.