The first quarter of 2010 is drawing to a close, and Hawaii's tourism industry seems to be on the rebound from a rough 2009, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority's recent statement. Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA, noted that spending in Maui has increased, especially from Canadian visitors—to the tune of a 16.2 percent increase in arrivals and 15.4 percent increase in visitor spending to $95.2 million. "Airlift played a critical role," McCartney said, "with many Canadian snowbirds taking advantage of direct flights to Oahu, Maui and Kauai. Total seat capacity from Canada rose 37.6 percent over last year with the additional flights from Calgary, Victoria and Vancouver."
Incentive travel was strong in February, up 30.3 percent from last year. "It's great to see results from the groundwork that we laid in 2008 when we shifted a lot of our programs within our Corporate Meetings and Incentives market to target incentive travel," McCartney said. Incentive travel was led by Canada with a 78 percent increase, U.S. East with a 24.3 percent increase and U.S. West with a 9.2 percent increase.
The increases are especially promising given that the NFL Pro Bowl was not held in Hawaii this year, but total visitor arrivals and spending "held stable."