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Hawaii Tourism Authority Releases First Quarter Numbers

April 27, 2010 By: Jena Tesse Fox

HawaiiHappy news from the Hawaii Tourism Authority: Total expenditures by visitors who came by air in March 2010 rose 12.7 percent from the same month last year to $874.2 million, boosted by increased arrivals and higher daily visitor spending. For the first quarter of 2010, total spending by air visitors grew by $130.1 million to $2.7 billion, or 5 percent higher compared to year-to-date 2009. 

Among the major islands, Maui led the growth in visitor spending (+25.2 percent, to $257.7 million), and arrivals (+14.2 percent). Contributing to these strong gains were new air services added in March 2010 to Maui from Edmonton, Calgary, Orange County, Los Angeles, San Jose and Sacramento and new routes to Maui that began in late 2009. 

In total, there were 607,709 air and cruise visitors in March 2010, up 9.3 percent from last March.  All top four visitor markets showed gains in arrivals by air compared to March 2009: Canada (+17.3 percent), U.S. West (+9.2 percent), U.S. East (+7.9 percent) and Japan (+6.5 percent). 

"We are on target with the goals in HTA’s Strategic Plan, and are pleased with the way the numbers have been trending the roughout the first quarter of 2010," said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. "The Neighbor Islands, and particularly Maui, are seeing increased activity as a result of increased direct flights and air seats from regional airports on the West Coast and Canada.  
"Even with these positive indicators, we are mindful that we are coming off an especially depressed 2009, and it is important that we sustain momentum and these positive trends," he added. "This is especially critical during the slower months of April and May. We cannot let up and must continue to work even harder to drive demand to fill the additional seats we have attracted into the market, and we need to pay attention to factors such as currency exchange rates and oil prices, which directly affect people’s ability and decision to travel to Hawaii."

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