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Hawaii Sees Increase in Spending on Four Major Islands in September

November 2, 2011 By: Jena Tesse Fox

Total expenditures by visitors who came to Hawaii in the first nine months of 2011 increased 14.7 percent, compared to the same period last year, to $9.3 billion. Total visitor days for all visitors rose 4.2 percent and total arrivals (+2.7 percent) continued to surpass last year at 5,446,393 visitors, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

For the month of September 2011, total visitor expenditures grew 19.7 percent ($165.1 million) from September 2010 to $1 billion. Contributing to the increase was higher daily spending by all visitors ($199 per person, up from $176 per person in September 2010) and a 4 percent growth in total arrivals to 560,707 visitors.

Arrivals by air only in September 2011 rose 4.7 percent from last September to 553,068 visitors, with increases from all top four visitor markets. Arrivals from Canada climbed 23 percent, the fifteenth consecutive month of double-digit growth. After six straight months of losses, Japanese arrivals grew slightly by 0.8 percent.  Arrivals from U.S. West (+2 percent) and U.S. East (+4.4 percent) also increased following three months of declines. A total of 7,639 visitors arrived aboard cruise ships in September 2011, down 29.2 percent compared to last September.

For the first nine months of 2011, continued strong growth in arrivals and higher average daily spending contributed to a 30 percent increase in total expenditures by Canadian visitors. Total spending from this market has been increasing by double-digits in every month since July 2010. Total expenditures by U.S. West (+7.5 percent) and U.S. East (+9 percent) visitors continued to increase. Total Japanese visitor expenditures also rose (+6.2 percent), despite arrivals declining 7.1 percent compared to year-to-date 2010.

Mike McCartney
, president and CEO Hawaii Tourism Authority noted that the increases are being seen throughout all of the four major islands, with year-to-date total visitor expenditures reaching $9.3 billion in 2011.

"September's growth included the continued increase in Japanese visitor spending, as well as an increase in visitor arrivals," he added. "We are hopeful that the uptick in arrivals is a sign of recovery of the Japan market.

"We anticipate this momentum to continue through the fourth quarter of 2011 and into 2012, with increases in airlift out of Japan, Canada, Korea and Australia through new and established airlines. We are excited to welcome Asiana Airlines with direct service from Honolulu to Incheon, Korea, Strategic Airlines servicing both Brisbane and Melbourne to Honolulu, and Allegiant Airlines servicing the U.S. West region, into the Hawaii market. We are very encouraged with the increases in visitor spending, arrivals and air seats as we head towards the end of the year. Together with Hawaii's visitor industry partners, we will remain vigilant and focused to reach our targets, set at $12.6 billion in visitor spending and 7.5 million visitor arrivals for 2011."

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About the Author

Jena Tesse Fox
Jena Tesse Fox covers Europe, Africa, Australia/South Pacific and business travel for the Questex Travel Group's publications. The daughter of history teachers, she can spend...

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By Jena Tesse Fox | November 2, 2011
Total visitor expenditures grew from $165.1 million from September 2010 to $1 billion.