Hawaii's May Visitor Numbers Show an Increase

Hawaii is showing some solid increases in its tourism numbers, according to a statement released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Total expenditures by visitors who came to Hawaii in the first five months of 2011 increased 15.3 percent, compared to the same period last year, to $5 billion. Total visitor days for all visitors grew 8.5 percent, and total arrivals rose 6.7 percent to 2,958,699 visitors.

U.S. West (+11.3 percent), U.S. East (+17.1 percent) and Canada (+34.8 percent) continued to show double-digit growth in total visitor expenditures for year-to-date 2011, boosted by higher average daily spending and increased arrivals. Japanese arrivals for the first five months of 2011 declined 6.7 percent, but total Japanese visitor spending continued to increase (+5.3 percent) compared to year-to-date 2010.

For the month of May 2011, total visitor spending grew 5.9 percent ($50.9 million) from May 2010, to $912.3 million. Total arrivals increased slightly by 0.6 percent to 553,505 visitors. The average daily spending by all visitors in May 2011 rose to $185 per person, from $175 per person a year ago.

Total arrivals by air in May 2011 were stable (+0.3 percent) compared to last May at 548,859 visitors. Arrivals from Canada (+19.1 percent) rose by double digits while there were moderate increases from U.S. West (+0.8 percent) and U.S. East (+1.8 percent) compared to last May. Two months following the tragic earthquake and tsunami, arrivals from Japan fell 17.1 percent compared to May 2010.

Arrivals by cruise ships in May 2011 rose 69 percent to 4,646 visitors compared to the same month last year.

Mike McCartney, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, noted that May was the thirteenth consecutive month of increased visitor spending. "We were also pleased to see an increase of 70 percent in the meetings, conventions and incentives market compared to May 2010," McCartney noted.
"Another positive indicator is the 5.3 percent increase in Japanese visitor spending – even with the decline in arrivals – for the first five months of 2011 than in 2010. The strong yen was a significant factor to boosting daily spending in this market.
"We anticipate activity to remain strong through the second half of the year, with increased airlift out of Asia and Oceania, and the establishment of the China Eastern Airlines service from Honolulu to Shanghai beginning in August. Our goal is to build on this momentum so that tourism can continue to drive Hawaii’s economic recovery."