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Visitors Down, but Spending Up for Hawaii

July 27, 2011 By: Jena Tesse Fox

Total expenditures by visitors who came to Hawaii in the first half of 2011 rose 18.4 percent, compared to the same period last year, to $6 billion. Total visitor days for all visitors increased 6.8 percent and total arrivals grew 4.7 percent to 3,565,963 visitors, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Total expenditures by U.S. West (+11.8 percent), U.S. East (+16.1 percent) and Canadian (+31.2 percent) visitors continued to increase by double-digits in the first half of 2011, boosted by higher average daily spending and growth in arrivals. Japanese arrivals for the first half of 2011 fell 9.2 percent, but total Japanese visitor spending continued to increase (+5.6 percent).

For the month of June 2011, total visitor expenditures rose 13.1 percent ($120.2 million) from June 2010 to $1 billion. Contributing to the increase was higher daily spending by all visitors ($177 per person, up from $156 per person in June 2010) and a longer average length of stay (9.65 days, up from 9.38 days in June 2010), despite a decline in total arrivals (-3.6 percent) to 607,264 visitors.

Arrivals by air only in June 2011 fell 3 percent compared to last June at 607,064 visitors. Arrivals from Canada rose 19 percent from the previous June. Arrivals from U.S. West declined 3.4 percent after 15 months of consecutive increases. U.S. East arrivals fell 6.9 percent, the largest drop since February 2010 (-8.1 percent). The effects of the earthquake and tsunami still lingered as Japanese arrivals decreased 16.1 percent from June 2010.

A total of 200 visitors arrived by cruise ship in June 2011, an off season for Hawaii’s cruise industry. No visitors came by cruise ship last June.

Mike McCartney, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, said in a statement that the increase is "outstanding news" for Hawaii’s tourism economy. "Despite the anticipated leveling off in overall visitor arrivals this month, we are on target to meet $12.6 billion in visitor spending and 7.3 million visitors by the end of the year," he added. 
"It is important to note that the average length of stay has increased over 2010, supported by strong arrivals from Australia, China and Korea. There has also been continued growth in per person per day spending due to increased spending for lodging, transportation and food and beverage. 
"The continued momentum has pushed greater distribution of travelers to the neighbor islands, resulting in higher visitor spending, longer length of stay and an increase in year-to-date arrivals," McCartney added.

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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 | July 27, 2011
Total expenditures by visitors who came to Hawaii in the first half of 2011 rose 18.4 percent, although arrivals are down three percent from last June.