Report: Hawaii Saw Record Arrivals, Spending in April

Hawaii's tourism scene is doing better and better: Total expenditures by visitors who came to the state in April 2012 climbed 26.8 percent over the previous year (or $246.5 million) to $1.17 billion, according to preliminary statistics released recently by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. This was the highest total expenditures on record for April. There were 647,194 visitors in April 2012, an 11.3 percent increase in total visitor arrivals. This was also a new record in arrivals for the month of April, surpassing the previous high of 618,230 visitors in April 2006. Higher daily spending (+10.4 percent to $194 per person) also contributed to the record total visitor expenditures.

Among the top four visitor markets, arrivals by air from U.S. West rose 3 percent compared to April 2011 to 277,809 visitors. Total U.S. West visitor expenditures were up 13.1 percent to $401.1 million in April 2012, the eighth straight month of growth since September 2011.

U.S. East arrivals by air grew 1.8 percent to 122,792 visitors. However, lower daily spending (-4.9 percent to $174 per person) resulted in a 2 percent decline in total U.S. East expenditures to $206.2 million. Canadian arrivals increased 3.3 percent to 45,937 visitors, while total Canadian visitor expenditures rose 5.5 percent to $84 million, continuing a trend of year-over-year growth since January 2011.

Also contributing to the strong growth in April 2012 was a doubling of visitors who came by cruise ships (to 30,972 visitors). All Hawaiian Islands saw growth in total visitor expenditures and arrivals for April 2012.

Total visitor expenditures for the first four months of 2012 rose 16.7 percent (or $682.1 million), from the same period last year, to $4.78 billion. Total arrivals grew 9.4 percent to 2,632,149 visitors in the first four months of 2012, with increases from all visitor markets compared to a year ago.