Hawaii visitor spending up nearly 5% in July to $1.66 billion

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Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $1.66 billion in July 2018, an increase of 4.8 percent compared to a year ago, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA).

“Hawaii’s tourism industry statewide realized another robust month in July, highlighted by establishing new record high monthly totals of 939,360 visitor arrivals and 1.2 million air seats serving the state on trans-Pacific flights,” said George D. Szigeti, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Among Hawaii’s four largest visitor markets, the U.S. West (+6.2% to $636.2 million), Japan (+7.2% to $206.4 million) and Canada (+18.8% to $55.3 million) reported gains in visitor spending, while growth from the U.S. East was flat (+0.4% to $454.3 million) compared to a year ago. Combined visitor spending from All Other International Markets (+5.1% to $310.4 million) increased in July.

On a statewide level, there was no growth in visitor spending on an average daily basis (-0.4% to $195 per person) in July versus last year. Visitors from Japan (+5.4%), Canada (+8.3%) and All Other International Markets (+1.5%) spent more per day than in July 2017, while visitors from U.S. East (-3.9%) and U.S. West (-0.7%) spent less.

Total visitor arrivals rose 5.3 percent to 939,360 visitors in July – the most ever for any month in Hawaii’s history – comprised of arrivals by air service (+5.7% to 938,608 visitors) and cruise ships (-79.3% to 752 visitors). Total visitor days1 rose 5.3 percent. The average daily census2, or the number of visitors on any given day in July statewide, was 274,883, up 5.3 percent from last year.

Visitor arrivals by air service increased from U.S. West (+9.1% to 420,204), U.S. East (+6.8% to 222,694), Japan (+1.3% to 138,060) and Canada (+3.1% to 27,527), but declined from All Other International Markets (-1% to 130,122).

Oahu recorded increases in both visitor spending (+1.2% to $773.7 million) and visitor arrivals (+2% to 566,059) in July compared to last year. Maui also saw growth in visitor spending (+11.3% to $481.5 million) and arrivals (+12.7% to 295,110), as did Kauai with gains in visitor spending (+17.6% to $194.6 million) and arrivals (+7.3% to 137,641). The island of Hawaii recorded decreases in visitor spending (-7.2% to $201.1 million) and arrivals (-12.7% to 153,906) compared to last year.

A total of 1,203,885 trans-Pacific air seats – the highest monthly total in Hawaii’s history – serviced the Hawaiian Islands in July, up 5.6 percent from a year ago with growth in air seat capacity from U.S. East (+8.5%), Oceania (+8.3%), U.S. West (+7.3%), and Canada (+1.9%) offsetting fewer seats from Other Asia (-8.3%) and Japan (-1%).

Year-to-Date 2018

Year-to-date through July 2018, statewide visitor spending of $10.92 billion (+9.8%) surpassed the results for the same period last year. Visitor spending increased from U.S. West (+9.8% to $4.02 billion), U.S. East (+9.2% to $2.91 billion), Japan (+7.2% to $1.34 billion), Canada (+7.6% to $705.3 million) and from All Other International Markets (+13.7% to $1.92 billion).

Statewide average daily spending by visitors rose to $205 per person (+2.7%) through the first seven months of 2018.

Year-to-date, visitor arrivals statewide were up (+7.7% to 5,922,203) versus last year, with increases from U.S. West (+10.9% to 2,485,758), U.S. East (+8.1% to 1,353,477), Japan (+1.2% to 884,644), Canada (+5.4% to 332,665) and All Other International Markets (+8% to 798,904).

All four larger Hawaiian Islands realized growth in both visitor spending and arrivals over the first seven months compared to last year.

Other Highlights:

U.S. West: Visitor arrivals increased from the Mountain (+9.7%) and Pacific (+9%) regions in July compared to a year ago, with growth reported from Utah (+15.4%), Arizona (+14.3%), Colorado (+10.3%), California (+9.5%) and Washington (+8.8%). Through the first seven months, arrivals rose from the Mountain (+13.3%) and Pacific (+10.5%) regions versus the same period last year.

U.S. East: Visitor arrivals increased from every region in July compared to a year ago. Year-to-date, visitor arrivals were up from all regions, highlighted by growth from the two largest regions, East North Central (+9.9%) and South Atlantic (+8.9%).

Japan: More visitors stayed in hotels (+1.3%) in July compared to last year, while stays in timeshares (-13.7%) and condominiums (-1%) declined. Additionally, more visitors made their own travel arrangements (+9.6%) while fewer visitors purchased group tours (-5.8%) and package trips (-6.6%).

Canada: In July, visitor stays in hotels (-6%) and timeshares (-19.3%) decreased but stays in condominiums (+16.4%) and rental homes (+38.3%) increased compared to a year ago.

MCI: A total of 30,482 visitors came to Hawaii for meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI) in July, a drop of 25.9 percent from last year. Fewer visitors came to attend conventions (-27.5% to 18,985) and traveled on incentive trips (-37.7% to 6,649) compared to a year ago when an engineering convention (4,500 delegates) and private corporate event (3,500) were held at the Hawaii Convention Center. Year-to-date, the number of MCI visitors declined (-2.6% to 319,583) 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.