For the fourth straight year, Hawaii’s tourism industry set new records for visitor arrivals and visitor expenditures generated for the state in 2015, according to preliminary year-end statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA).
“Congratulations to everyone in our tourism industry for contributing to Hawaii’s record-setting year," said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the HTA, in a written release. "Everyone shares in the accomplishments of tourism, and all of our communities benefit from its success."
Altogether, a record total of 8,649,357 visitors were welcomed to Hawaii in 2015, a 4.1 percent increase over 2014, producing a record total of $15.2 billion in visitor expenditures, an increase of 2.3 percent year-over-year. Total visitor days for 2015 grew 3.5 percent and, on average, there were 214,469 visitors in Hawaii on any given day (average daily census), an increase of 3.5 percent versus 2014.
Arrivals on airlines grew 4.3 percent to 8,533,978 visitors in 2015, driven by increases from U.S. West, U.S. East, Australia and China. More direct air service to Hawaii supported growth in arrivals from these markets. In contrast, eight fewer out-of-state cruise ships served the islands in 2015 with 115,378 visitors a decrease of 7.3 percent compared to 2014.
For the month of December 2015, Hawaii welcomed 794,246 visitors, an increase of 3.7 percent, producing total visitor expenditures of $1.5 billion, an increase of 2.5 percent (+$37 million) versus December 2014. The average daily spending of $197 per person was similar to December 2014.
“Tourism is off to a strong start in 2016 and the outlook for the year is bright and optimistic," said Szigeti. "The public can be assured, however, that HTA is not resting on the laurels of tourism’s past success. Tourism is incredibly competitive. We are utilizing HTA’s state funding wisely, efficiently, responsibly and aggressively to compete for the attention of global travelers against destinations worldwide.”