A total of 835,417 visitors came to the Hawaiian Islands in July, making it the best month ever for visitor arrivals on record, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA).
This represented a 2.1 percent growth from the previous record of 818,454 visitors in July 2015. Total visitor days increased by 1 percent. Visitor arrivals on airlines rose (up 2.3 percent to 834,465) in July 2016, with the balance arriving by cruise ship (952 visitors).
"It’s inspiring to see the second half of 2016 start with a new all-time record for monthly visitor arrivals,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, in a written release. “Sustained success in tourism is a team effort. Hawaii's travel industry partners have been brilliant in consistently meeting the expectations of first-time and repeat visitors, both from the U.S. mainland and internationally. Their collaborative devotion to excellence is the impetus behind Hawaii’s record totals.”
Arrivals by air in July 2016 grew from U.S. West (up 5.3 percent to 365,497) and "All Other International Markets" (up 4.6 percent to 127,935), while U.S. East arrivals were similar (up 0.2% to 187,838) to last year. This more than offset the decreases from Japan (down 3.6 percent to 127,373) and Canada (down 3.1 percent to 25,822).
Total visitor expenditures increased (up 1.5 percent to $1.4 billion) in July 2016 compared to the year prior. Visitor spending increased from U.S. West (up 4.8 percent to $546.7 million), All Other International Markets (up 1.8 percent to $292.5 million), and Canada (up 8.5 percent to $51.1 million), with Japan remaining flat (down 0.2 percent to $182.3 million). Spending declined from U.S. East (down 3.3 percent to $371.9 million).
The statewide average daily spending of $190 per person (up 0.5 percent) in July 2016 was similar to a year ago. Visitors from U.S. West (up 1.7 percent), Japan (up four percent) and Canada (up 10.9 percent) spent more on a daily basis, while visitors from All Other International Markets (down 1.5 percent) spent less.
In July 2016, growth in visitor arrivals to Oahu was flat (up 0.5 percent) and visitor expenditures were down slightly (down 0.6 percent) year-over-year. Maui recorded increases in both arrivals (up 4.7 percent) and expenditures (up 2.3 percent), as did Kauai with gains in arrivals (up 3.2 percent) and expenditures (up 10.1 percent). Hawaii Island recorded no growth in arrivals (down 0.2 percent) and a slight drop in expenditures (down 0.7 percent).
Total air capacity to the Hawaiian Islands grew slightly (up 0.7 percent to 1,105,181 seats) in July 2016 versus last year. Increases in scheduled seats from U.S. West (up 2.8 percent), Oceania (up 9 percent) and "Other Asia" (up 17 percent) offset declines from U.S. East (down 9.7 percent), Japan (down 8.6 percent) and Canada (down 1.6 percent).
Through the first seven months of 2016, total visitor arrivals (up 2.5 percent to 5,251,218) and visitor expenditures (up 2.9 percent to $9.15 billion) exceeded the same period last year. There were more visitors from U.S. West (up 4.2 percent), U.S. East (up 2.1 percent), Japan (up 0.8 percent) and All Other International markets (up 7.1 percent), but fewer visitors from Canada (down 10 percent) compared to year-to-date 2015.
Gains in visitor expenditures from U.S. West (up 5.5 percent to $3.3 billion), U.S. East (up 3.4 percent to $2.4 billion), and All Other International markets (up 7.5 percent to $1.8 billion) offset losses from Japan (down 0.7 percent to $1.1 billion) and Canada (down 15.1 percent to $602.6 million).
“In September we’ll start planning for next year as our industry partners come together at the Hawaii Tourism Conference to collectively address the future of travel for the Hawaiian Islands,” said Szigeti. “A primary focus will be how Hawaii can remain foremost in the minds of global travelers, especially millennials. Everyone in Hawaii benefits from a strong, vibrant tourism industry. We look forward to the plans, insight, ideas, and new initiatives to support our industry’s future at the tourism conference.”