Stats: Hawaii Visitor Spending Increases to $8.4 Billion in First Half of 2017

Hawaii Island
Photo by GeorgeBurba/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Visitors in the first half of 2017 spent a total of $8.4 billion in the Hawaiian Islands, an increase of 8.7 percent compared to the first half of 2016, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA).

“Our state’s economy benefited from the consistently strong travel demand that Hawaii realized in the first half of the year, especially from the mainland U.S., Japan and Canada,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the HTA, in a written release. “Visitor spending statewide grew by 8.7 percent through the first six months, which strengthened Hawaii’s economy as a whole and also generated $976 million in state tax revenue, an increase of $78.3 million." 

Total visitor arrivals rose 4.3 percent to 4,604,976 compared to a year ago, boosted by growth in arrivals by air (up four percent to 4,534,893) and arrivals by cruise ships (up 23.9 percent to 70,083). 


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Through the first half of 2017, Hawaii’s four largest visitor markets, U.S. West (up 11.5 percent to $3.1 billion), U.S. East (up 11.3 percent to $2.2 billion), Japan (up 13.6 percent to $1.1 billion) and Canada (up 10.4 percent to $608.7 million), all reported double-digit gains in visitor spending. 

Visitor arrivals from U.S. West (up 3.3 percent), U.S. East (up 7.9 percent), Japan (up 6.9 percent) and Canada (up 7 percent) also increased from last year. In addition, daily spending by these visitors was higher than the first half of 2016.

“These statewide results and Hawaii’s ability to successfully compete with other global destinations is shared by all of our tourism stakeholders and industry professionals who make being in the Hawaiian Islands such a wonderfully enjoyable experience for visitors from around the world,” said Szigeti.

Visitor spending from All Other International markets declined in the first half of 2017 (down 3.8 percent to $1.4 billion) year-over-year, due to decreased visitor arrivals (down 4.3 percent) and lower daily spending.

All four larger Hawaiian Islands realized growth in visitor spending and arrivals in the first half of 2017 compared to a year ago. The Island of Hawaii was the only island to report double-digit growth in both visitor spending and arrivals, supported by increased direct air service from the U.S. and Japan.

Total visitor spending increased 3.7 percent to $1.4 billion in June versus a year ago. Visitor spending increased from U.S. East (up 10.9 percent to $427 million), Japan (up 9.3 percent to $183.5 million) and Canada (up 18.4 percent to $37.2 million), but declined from U.S. West (down 1.7 percent to $557.1 million). All Other International markets recorded no growth (down 0.4 percent to $243 million) in June 2017.

Total arrivals rose 4.5 percent in June 2017 with more visitors coming from U.S. East (up 10.3 percent), U.S. West (up 2.7 percent), Japan (up seven percent) and Canada ( up 7.2 percent), but fewer visitors from All Other International markets (down one percent) compared to a year ago.

Statewide average daily spending of $193 per person (down 0.1 percent) in June 2017 was similar to last year. Visitors from Canada (up 8.9 percent), U.S. East (up three percent) and Japan (up 0.8 percent) spent more, while visitors from U.S. West (down 2.5 percent) and “All Other International” markets (down 2.6 percent) spent less compared to June of last year.

All four larger Hawaiian Islands recorded year-over-year growth in visitor spending and visitor arrivals in June.

“As global competition expands and diversifies giving travelers more options, the sharing of the Hawaiian culture, the warmth of our aloha spirit lifestyle and goodwill of our residents distinguishes Hawaii as a place to come enjoy and experience, in many cases, again and again,” said Szigeti. “Mahalo to everyone who contributes to tourism’s vitality and the benefits it brings to communities and families statewide.”


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