|Kalalau Lookout on Kauai, the island that showed the most growth.|
The travel forecast for Hawaii continues to be a sunny one. Recent tourism statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority show that total expenditures by visitors to the state in February rose 9.9 percent (or $110.2 million) over February 2012, totaling $1.22 billion. Contributing to the increase was higher daily spending (+6.6 percent to $198 per person) and a 7.8 percent growth in total arrivals to 675,517 visitors. February 2012 visitor statistics were augmented by an extra leap-day. Factoring out the extra day, the average daily census showed a 6.8 percent gain in number of visitors in February 2013. A longer-than-anticipated winter season throughout most of the U.S. and Canada was also cited as a contributing factor.
“We continue to focus on enhancing visitor distribution and economic growth across the state, especially during the slower shoulder periods,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, in a written release. “Through working with our industry partners, we have been able to grow visitor expenditures and arrivals on all the Hawaiian islands, with significant increases on the neighbor islands.”
Among Hawaii’s top visitor markets, arrivals by air from the U.S. West Coast grew 8.2 percent while U.S. East Coast arrivals were comparable to February 2012. For the first two months of 2013, arrivals to the four main islands were all up over 2012 as follows: Kauai, 10 percent; Hawaii Island, 8.2 percent; Oahu, 7.9 percent; and Maui, 6.2 percent.
Air Seats to Hawaii
Total air seats for February 2013 grew 10 percent from last February to 844,874 seats. Total air seats increased 11.5 percent for Honolulu, Oahu; 3.6 percent for Kahului, Maui; 20.3 percent for Lihue, Kauai; and 9.8 percent for Kona, Hawaii Island. Hilo declined 41.3 percent. Scheduled air seats from the U.S. West Coast in February 2013 grew 6.8 percent. New service from Boise, ID; Eugene, OR; Mesa, AZ; Spokane, WA; Stockton and Fresno, CA—and increased service from Anchorage; Bellingham, WA; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Oakland; Phoenix; Portland and San Jose—offset reduced service from Denver, Salt Lake City and San Francisco.
Seats from the U.S. East Coast jumped 26.8 percent from February 2012. Daily direct service from New York City and Washington D.C., and increased service from Houston and Newark offset fewer seats out of Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas.
Cruise Ship Visitors
The total number of visitors who came by cruise ships or by air to board cruise ships increased 29.7 percent in February 2013 over 2012. Total cruise ship visitor days rose 20.5 percent from last February.