Hawaii Sees Increase in Visitor Spending for January

Total expenditures by visitors who came to Hawaii in January 2012 rose 13.9 percent (or $164.1 million) from January 2011, to just over $1.3 billion, according to preliminary statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. This was the best one-month total on record, surpassing the December 2011 high of $1.298 billion.

Contributing to the increase in January 2012 was higher daily spending ($192 per person, up from $183 per person in January 2011) and a 7.7 percent growth in total arrivals to 643,616 visitors.

Total arrivals by air grew 7.4 percent from January 2011 to 629,852 visitors with increases from U.S. West (+3.3 percent), U.S. East (+4.1 percent), Japan (+3.9 percent) and Canada (+9 percent). On a typical day in January 2012, there were 223,452 visitors (average daily census). The last time this rate was exceeded was in July 2005. Arrivals by cruise ships rose 22.7 percent to 13,764 visitors.

Total expenditures by U.S. West visitors grew 2.6 percent to $364.1 million, despite lower daily spending compared to January 2011 (-2.3 percent to $146.4 per person). Similarly, U.S. East visitors’ total expenditures rose 1.5 percent to $346.7 million, while daily spending decreased (-1.5 percent to $183 per person).

Growth in arrivals, additional charter air service and significantly higher daily spending (+18 percent to $340 per person) contributed to a 22.9 percent jump in total Japanese visitor expenditures to $218.5 million in January 2012. This was the eighth consecutive month of increases since June 2011.

HTA President and CEO Mike McCartney said in a statement that the gains in expenditures were seen across the major islands and in each of the major market areas, distributing the benefits of tourism across the state. "A strong holiday season, combined with pent up demand for travel to the Hawaiian Islands, increases in airlift and a large delegation of convention attendees were all contributing factors to the increases seen in January. Kauai lead the way in visitor arrival increases for January, up 10 percent over 2011, thanks to increased direct service and a charter flight from China."

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