Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $1.28 billion in September 2018, an increase of 6.4 percent compared to a year ago, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA).
Visitor spending increased from U.S. West (+2.5% to $460.2 million), U.S. East (+7.9% to $297.3 million) and All Other International Markets (+20.5% to $297.9 million) in September, while spending by visitors from Canada ($43 million) was virtually unchanged from last year. Spending by visitors from Japan declined (-4.1% to $179.9 million) year-over-year.
Total visitor arrivals grew to 724,863 (+3.5%) in September compared to a year ago, with total visitor days1 increasing by 5.8 percent. The average daily census2, or number of visitors on any given day in September, was 209,432, up 5.8 percent compared to last year.
More visitors came from U.S. East (+12.0%) and U.S. West (+5.0%) and All Other International Markets (+1.9%), while fewer visitors arrived from Canada (-6.2%) and Japan (-4.0%).
In September, Oahu recorded increases in both visitor spending (+12.2% to $638.9 million) and visitor arrivals (+3.1% to 462,079) versus a year ago. Kauai also realized growth in visitor spending (+21.5% to $153.8 million) and visitor arrivals (+4.1% to 102,041). Visitor spending on Maui was comparable to a year ago (+0.4% to $334.4 million) while visitor arrivals increased (+5.9% to 212,357). The island of Hawaii recorded decreases in both visitor spending (-14.1% to $140.5 million) and visitor arrivals (-14.0% to 102,635).
A total of 1,020,217 trans-Pacific air seats served the Hawaiian Islands in September, up 10.3 percent year-over-year. Growth in scheduled seats from Oceania (+18.4%), U.S. West (+10.3%), Japan (+9.8%), U.S. East (+8.5%) and Canada (+4.2%) offset fewer seats from Other Asia (-4.7%).
Visitor Results Year-to-Date Through Three Quarters of 2018
Year-to-date through September, visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $13.62 billion in the first three quarters of 2018, an increase of 9.8 percent compared to the same period last year.
Hawaii’s four largest visitor markets, U.S. West (+10.5% to $4.97 billion), U.S. East (+9.4% to $3.54 billion), Japan (+2.2% to $1.75 billion) and Canada (+7.4% to $801.3 million) all reported growth in visitor spending in the first three quarters versus the same period last year. Combined visitor spending from All Other International Markets also increased (+15.8% to $2.53 billion).
Total visitor arrivals rose to 7,492,138 (+6.5%) in the first three quarters, comprised of arrivals by air service (+6.7% to 7,415,711) and cruise ships (-11.8% to 76,427) compared to a year ago. Visitor arrivals by air increased from U.S. West (+9.6% to 3,140,814), U.S. East (+8.4% to 1,665,821), Canada (+4.0% to 382,394) and All Other International Markets (+6.8% to 1,050,723), but declined from Japan (-1.9% to 1,175,960).
All of the Hawaiian Islands realized growth in visitor spending and visitor arrivals in the first three quarters compared to last year.
A total of 10,009,326 trans-Pacific air seats served the Hawaiian Islands in the first three quarters, an increase of 9.2 percent year-over-year.
U.S. West: In September, growth in visitor arrivals from the Mountain region (+13.1%) was led by increases from Utah (+34%) and Colorado (+9.7%). For the Pacific region (+3.1%), more visitors came from Washington (+12.0%) and Oregon (+7.7%). Visitor stays increased in rental homes (+25.1%) and condominiums (+6.2%) but decreased in hotels (-1.1%) compared to a year ago.
Through the first three quarters, visitor arrivals increased from the Mountain (+12.8%) and Pacific (+9.1%) regions compared to the same period from last year, boosted by growth from Utah (+19.7%), Colorado (+14.7%), Oregon (+12.0%), Arizona (+9.8%), Washington (+9.7%) and California (+8.7%). Daily spending averaged $177 per person in the first three quarters, up from $174 per person, versus a year ago. Lodging, food and beverage, and transportation expenses all increased while shopping expenses dropped slightly.
U.S. East: In September, visitor arrivals increased from every region compared to a year ago. Visitor stays increased in rental homes (+37.7%), condominiums (+17.5%) and hotels (+5.7%) compared to last September.
In the first three quarters, visitor arrivals increased from all regions versus last year, highlighted by growth from the two largest regions, East North Central (+9.8%) and South Atlantic (+9.4%). Average daily spending rose to $213 per person (+2.2%). Lodging and transportation expenses increased, while shopping expenses were down slightly from a year ago.
Japan: In September, a contributing factor to the decreases in visitor spending and visitor arrivals was Typhoon Jebi, which struck Japan on September 4 and resulted in the closure of Kansai International Airport for nearly two weeks and cancellation of 80 scheduled flights to Hawaii. During that period, 50 unscheduled flights to Hawaii from Narita and Nagano airports were added to accommodate passengers.
Visitor stays declined in timeshares (-28.0%), condominiums (-4.7%) and hotels (-2.2%) in September, while stays in rental homes (+37.0%) and with friends and relatives (+17.9%) increased compared to a year ago.
Through the first three quarters, daily visitor spending rose to $248 per person (+4.0%). Lodging and transportation expenses were higher than a year ago, but spending declined for shopping, food and beverage, and entertainment and recreation.
Canada: In September, visitor stays increased in condominiums (+22.3%) and rental homes (+6.0%) but declined in hotels (-15.2%) and timeshares (-5.1%) versus last year.
During the first three quarters, average daily spending by visitors increased to $170 per person (+4.4%). Lodging, transportation and shopping expenses increased, while spending on entertainment and recreation was lower compared to the first three quarters of last year.
MCI: In September, a total of 30,458 visitors came to the Hawaiian Islands for meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI), a decrease of 1.5 percent year-over-year. Through the first three quarters, total MCI visitors declined (-1.4% to 369,093) compared to a year ago. More visitors came to attend conventions (+1.0% to 187,651) but fewer came for corporate meetings (-8.5% to 62,798) or traveled on incentive trips (-0.9% to 130,760).
Honeymoon: In September, honeymoon visitors to the Hawaiian Islands declined (-12.8% to 50,899) overall due to decreases from Japan (-9.7% to 14,690), U.S. West (-8.1% to 12,524) and U.S. East (-6.0% to 10,564). In the first three quarters, the total number of honeymoon visitors was down (-5.3% to 391,639) versus last year.
Get Married: In September, the number of visitors coming to Hawaii to get married decreased overall (-4.2% to 8,452), with fewer visitors from U.S. West (-3.1% to 3,382) and Japan (-3.7% to 2,184) offsetting the increase in visitors from U.S. East (+18.8% to 1,587). During the first three quarters, a total of 75,888 visitors (-0.8%) came to Hawaii to get married.