The Hawaii Tourism Authority recently announced that visitor arrivals and spending were down three percent for the first 90 days of 2014 compared to 2013 as Hawaii’s tourism economy continued to level off.
During this period, says Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, visitors spent an average of $42.4 million per day in the Hawaiian Islands: $20 million on Oahu, $11.8 million in Maui County, $4.3 million on Kauai, $6.1 million on Hawaii Island and $156,000 by visitors who arrived by cruise ship.
This equated to a dollar less per person per day in visitor spending and 760 fewer arrivals per day, in comparison to 2013, says McCartney.
"Following two record-breaking years in visitor spending and arrivals, we anticipated a slowdown in growth this year," says McCartney. "While the outlook for the summer remains strong, we expect the fall shoulder period to be challenging, with increased competition, a strengthening U.S. dollar and increased taxes."
McCartney says the HTA continues to focus on enhancing our global marketing efforts to grow our market share from international regions, as arrivals from these areas continue to increase and help to balance the declines from mature markets like the U.S. West and U.S. East.
Also, China is becoming a major market area for Hawaii’s tourism industry with 11 weekly nonstop flights, five from Shanghai and six from Beijing, says McCartney. There is significant growth in visitor spending from this market as Chinese visitors continue to be the highest daily spenders at $411 per person per day, as of March 2014.
"We also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the China Shanghai Film Group to film the first Chinese major motion picture in the Hawaiian Islands," says McCartney. "This will provide our state with tremendous exposure in China, and help us to reach a vast population."