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Tourism: Visitors Up, Spending Down
By News Release @ 3:16 PM :: 4504 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Tourism

Total Visitor Arrivals Rose 1.3 Percent in May 2016; Visitor Expenditures Declined 2.4 Percent

News Release from HTA, June 30, 2016

HONOLULU – Total visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands in May 2016 rose 1.3 percent from a year ago to 718,913 visitors, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA). Total visitor days increased 1.1 percent compared to May 2015.

Arrivals by airlines grew 1.6 percent to 709,566 visitors, led by increases from U.S. West (+3.3% to 305,182) and U.S. East (+1.8% to 156,238). There were fewer visitors from Japan (-1.4% to 113,966) and Canada (-17.7% to 21,779), but more visitors came from All Other International markets (+4.5% to 112,402).

Fewer visitors arrived by cruise ships (-15,7% to 9,347) in May 2016 with four out-of-state ships visiting the islands versus six ships in May 2015.

Despite increased visitor volumes, lower daily spending across most visitor markets resulted in decreased total visitor expenditures (-2.4% to $1.2 billion) for May 2016. Among the top four visitor markets, only Canada showed higher daily visitor spending. However, fewer arrivals led to a drop in overall Canadian visitor expenditures (-15.1% to $38.6 million). Decreased daily spending contributed to losses in U.S. West (-1.8% $439.3 million) and Japanese (-10.1% to $154.9 million) visitor expenditures and no growth in U.S. East visitor expenditures (-0.3% to $301.4 million) compared to May 2015.

Among the four larger Hawaiian Islands, visitor arrivals increased for O‘ahu (+1.5%), however visitor expenditures declined (-7.7%) from a year ago. Maui saw growth in both visitor arrivals (+3.5%) and visitor expenditures (+4.3%). The island of Hawai‘i recorded fewer arrivals (-1.8%), but saw a gain in visitor expenditures (+9.3%). Kaua‘i showed decreases in arrivals (-2.5%) and visitor expenditures (-7.8%) for the month.

Growth in total air seats to the Hawaiian Islands in May 2016 was flat (-0.1% to 979,229) compared to last May. Declines in scheduled seats from Canada (-15%), U.S. East (-9.4%) and Japan (-4.4%), offset increases from Other Asia markets (+29.1%), Oceania (+5.3%) and U.S. West (+0.8%).

Year-to-Date 2016

In the first five months of 2016, total visitor arrivals (+3.1% to 3,615,538) and visitor expenditures (+1% to $6.3 billion) exceeded the same period last year. There were more visitors from U.S. West (+4%), U.S. East (+5.2%), Japan (+1.8%) and All Other International markets (+9.1%), which offset the decline in arrivals from Canada (-12.1%). Gains in visitor expenditures from U.S. West (+3.7% to $2.2 billion), U.S. East (+4.5% to $1.6 billion) and All Other International markets (+5.9% to $1.2 billion) offset losses from Canada (-18.5% to $520 million) and Japan (-4.7% to $770.2 million).                                                             

Visitor arrivals in the first five months of 2016 increased on O‘ahu (+2.8%) and Maui (+2.8%) but declined on Kaua‘i (-1.4%). Arrivals to Hawai‘i Island (+0.5%) were comparable to year-to-date 2015. Through May 2016, there were gains in visitor expenditures on Maui (+3.6% to $1.9 billion) and Hawai‘i Island (+10.6% to $857.6 million), however, O‘ahu (-2.5% to $2.8 billion) and Kaua‘i (-1.4% to $663.7 million) reported losses.

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