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Hawaii Sees Increased Visitor Spending, ArrivalsJune 28, 2010 By: Jena Tesse Fox
Some bright news from the Aloha State: Hawaii’s tourism economy is trending forward following consecutive months of increased visitor spending and arrivals. "This is a positive indication that we are on track with our HTA Strategic Plan and that our industry is showing signs of rebounding," said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. He added that Hawaii’s peak summer travel season has gotten off to a "strong start" with preliminary data showing a 13.2 percent increase in air passenger arrivals for the first three weeks of June.
However, he cautioned, the state is not out of the woods yet.
According to research by the U.S. Travel Association, summer travel intentions among U.S. air leisure travelers have eased slightly due to the rising cost of travel compared with the discounts and deals that were more prevalent in summer 2009. "The good news for Hawaii is that we have been hearing from our hotel partners that they anticipate occupancy rates to exceed last summer," McCartney said. "Also, there will be approximately 2.4 million total air seats statewide to accommodate the anticipated increase in air passenger arrivals as we head into summer."
Continued growth out of the international markets is also "encouraging." In particular, the Japan market is making strong gains over last year with arrivals and average daily spending continuing to increase in May. "While these are positive signs for the industry, we need to keep in mind that this growth is compared to the same period last year when the H1N1 epidemic affected travel out of Asia."
Hawaii is also seeing positive movement in the meetings, conventions and incentive market with an upswing in visitors attending corporate meetings or on incentive trips. "We are optimistic about the increased booking pace for the remainder of year and anticipate seeing more corporate business out of Japan following targeted programs in this market," McCartney said.