|Hawaii Island // Photo by Joe Pike|
For the first half of 2016, total visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands increased 3.3 percent to 4,415,801 visitors, while visitor expenditures rose 1.6 percent to $7.7 billion, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA).
“Hawaii's tourism industry achieved record totals for the first two quarters, attracting more visitors at 4.4 million, and generating more spending at $7.7 billion, than any previous year," said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the HTA, in a written release. "Importantly, these results also produced a record $820.7 million in state tax revenue for the first two quarters, revenue that strengthens our State’s ability to provide programs and services benefiting residents statewide."
Through the first six months of 2016, growth in visitors from U.S. West (up 4.3 percent), U.S. East (up 4.1 percent), Japan (up 1.6 percent) and "All Other International" markets (up 9.7 percent) offset fewer visitors from Canada (down 11.6 percent) compared to 2015. Visitor expenditures increased from U.S. West (up five percent to $2.7 billion), U.S. East (up 3.3 percent to $2 billion) and All Other International markets (up six percent to $1.5 billion), but declined from Canada (down 17.7 percent to $551.5 million) and Japan ( down 4.3 percent to $936.5 million).
“We are especially heartened by these results through the first half of the year, as our two largest tourism markets, U.S. West and U.S. East, carried the bulk of Hawaii’s success, bolstered by the new international markets that HTA has been working hard to develop," said Szigeti. "Hawaii also had strong results for the month of June, infusing us with confidence that the peak summer travel season will prove to be very fruitful."
For the four larger Hawaiian Islands in the first half of 2016, Maui (up three percent), Oahu (up 2.9 percent) and Hawaii Island (up 0.9 percent) saw growth in visitor arrivals, while Kauai (down 0.1 percent) was similar to last year. Visitor expenditures increased on Maui (up four percent to $2.3 billion) and Hawaii Island (up 9.1 percent to $1 billion), showed no growth on Kauai (down 0.2 percent to $820.8 million), and declined on Oahu (down 1.5 percent to $3.5 billion).
For the month of June 2016, total visitors rose 4.2 percent with growth in arrivals by airlines (up 4.1 percent to 798,663) and cruise ships (up 221.9 percent to 1,600) compared to June 2015. Total visitor days increased 3.9 percent. There were more visitors from U.S. West (up 5.4 percent), Japan (up 0.9 percent) and All Other International markets (up 12.6 percent), no growth in visitors from U.S. East (down 0.2 percent), and fewer visitors from Canada (down 4.5 percent).
Total visitor expenditures for June 2016 rose 4.3 percent to $1.4 billion versus June 2015. Visitor spending increased from U.S. West (up 10.3 percent to $566.9 million) and from All Other International markets (up 6.3 percent to $250.2 million), but declined from U.S. East (down 1.5 percent to $385 million), Japan (down 2.2 percent to $166.3 million) and Canada (down 2.2 percent to $31.4 million).
Statewide average daily spending of $193 per person (up 0.4 percent) in June 2016 was similar to last year, as higher spending by visitors from U.S. West (up 4.8 percent) and Canada (up 4.5 percent) offset lower spending by visitors from U.S. East (down 2.3 percent), Japan (down 1.9 percent) and All Other International markets (down 3.2 percent).
All four larger Hawaiian Islands recorded growth in visitor arrivals and visitor expenditures in June 2016 compared to June 2015.
“Hawaii continues to do well as a global travel destination and it’s primarily due to the world’s admiration for our beloved Hawaiian culture and the aloha spirit embracing all who come to these islands," said Szigeti.