Visitors spent a total of $1.3 billion in the Hawaiian Islands in April 2017, an increase of nine percent compared to a year ago, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA).
Total visitor arrivals also grew 7.5 percent to 752,964 visitors. Hawaii’s four largest visitor markets, U.S. West, U.S. East, Japan and Canada, all realized growth in visitor spending and arrivals in April compared to a year ago.
“April was a better month than expected, with the Easter holiday and Golden Week in Japan contributing to increased travel demand,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the HTA, in a written release. “Visitor spending statewide grew nine percent over last year, fueled by the strong performance of Hawaii’s core markets, U.S. West, U.S. East, Japan and Canada.”
From the U.S West, visitor spending rose in April 2017 (up 17 percent to $490.4 million) boosted by an increase in arrivals (up 9.4 percent to 321,877). Contributing to the increase in visitor arrivals was having the Easter holiday take place in April of this year versus March of last year. U.S. West visitors also spent more per day (up 7.5 percent to $176 per person) this April compared to last year.
From the U.S. East, visitor spending grew in April (up 12.2 percent to $298.6 million), spurred by an increase in arrivals (up 10.7 percent to 147,532) and higher visitor spending (up 1.2 percent to $215 per person).
“The economies of Hawaii’s four major islands felt the positive impact of these results," said Szigeti, "highlighted by Maui, Kauai and the Island of Hawaii all reporting double-digit growth in visitor spending.”
The Japan visitor market continued to produce positive results due to the launch of direct air service to Kona, increased air service to Honolulu, and the start of Golden Week, traditionally a period of growth for outbound Japan travel. Visitor spending rose in April (up 4.6 percent to $145.6 million), as did arrivals (up 8.4 percent to 109,604). However, daily spending of $222 per person was down slightly compared to April of last year ($227 per person).
The Canada market continued to recover from sharp decreases in visitor spending and visitor arrivals for most of last year. In April 2017, visitor spending (up 21.5 percent to $90.4 million) and arrivals (up 17.9 percent to 48,952) showed substantial increases compared to a year ago.
“The state’s tax revenue base continues to benefit from the success of Hawaii’s tourism industry. Through the first four months, $657.2 million in tax revenue has been produced for the State of Hawaii, which is an increase of $60.2 million, or 10.1 percent, over last year,” said Szigeti. “These are funds that are helping to make lives better for families and communities statewide.”