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Wednesday, January 31, 2024
Five Straight Months of Tourism Decline Since Lahaina Fire
By News Release @ 2:02 PM :: 1380 Views :: Maui County, Hawaii Statistics, Tourism

DECEMBER 2023 MARKED THE FIFTH CONSECUTIVE MONTH WITH DECLINING VISITOR EXPENDITURES

News Release from DBEDT, January 30, 2024

HONOLULU—Total visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands (860,831 visitors, -1.3%) and total visitor spending measured in nominal dollars ($1.96 billion, -1.2%) were down slightly in December 2023, compared to December 2022, according to preliminary statistics from the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). However, visitor spending during the calendar year, increased over 2022. Since the August 2023 Maui wildfires, visitor arrivals have decreased in four out of the last five months while visitor spending recorded five straight months of decline compared to 2022. When compared to pre-pandemic 2019 levels, December 2023 total visitor arrivals represents a 90.4 percent recovery from December 2019 and total visitor spending was higher than December 2019 ($1.75 billion, +11.6%).

“The data shows reason for optimism that travel to Hawaii is continuing to recover since the pandemic and since the Maui wildfires. While the decision to reopen West Maui to visitors was difficult, the numbers show that visitor industry revenue is helping the people of Maui,” said Governor Josh Green, M.D.

In December 2023, 845,621 visitors arrived by air service, mainly from the U.S. West and U.S. East. Additionally, 15,210 visitors came via out-of-state cruise ships. In comparison, 858,269 visitors (-1.5%) arrived by air and 13,618 visitors (+11.7%) came by cruise ships in December 2022, and 941,128 visitors (-10.1%) arrived by air and 11,313 visitors (+34.4%) came by cruise ships in December 2019. The average length of stay by all visitors in December 2023 was 9.38 days, compared to 9.52 days (-1.5%) in December 2022 and 9.27 days (+1.1%) in December 2019. The statewide average daily census¹ was 260,395 visitors in December 2023, compared to 267,834 visitors (-2.8%) in December 2022 and 284,924 visitors (-8.6%) in December 2019.

In December 2023, 424,305 visitors arrived from the U.S. West, down from December 2022 (447,326 visitors, -5.1%), but an increase compared to December 2019 (418,520 visitors, +1.4%). U.S. West visitor spending of $850.6 million decreased from December 2022 ($926.3 million, -8.2%), but was much higher than December 2019 ($697.6 million, +21.9%). Daily spending by U.S. West visitors in December 2023 ($225 per person) was less than December 2022 ($230 per person, -2.4%), but was considerably more than December 2019 ($180 per person, +24.7%).

In December 2023, arrivals from the U.S. East of 209,231 visitors declined compared to December 2022 (228,357 visitors, -8.4%) and December 2019 (215,358 visitors, -2.8%). U.S. East visitor spending of $573.2 million decreased from December 2022 ($620.4 million, -7.6%) but was much higher than December 2019 ($488.3 million, +17.4%). Daily spending by U.S. East visitors in December 2023 ($267 per person) was up slightly from December 2022 ($264 per person, +0.9%) and considerably more than December 2019 ($218 per person, +22.5%).

There were 67,405 visitors from Japan in December 2023, which was a significant increase compared to December 2022 (35,142 visitors, +91.8%), but was still much lower than December 2019 (136,635 visitors, -50.7%). Visitors from Japan spent $106.0 million in December 2023, compared to $57.8 million (+83.3%) in December 2022 and $210.9 million (-49.7%) in December 2019. Daily spending by Japanese visitors in December 2023 ($239 per person) was more than December 2022 ($232 per person, +3.0%), but was less than December 2019 ($260 per person, -8.0%).

In December 2023, 55,927 visitors arrived from Canada, which was fewer than December 2022 (61,351 visitors, -8.8%) and December 2019 (64,182 visitors, -12.9%). Visitors from Canada spent $149.2 million in December 2023, compared to $145.0 million (+2.9%) in December 2022 and $129.6 million (+15.1%) in December 2019. Daily spending by Canadian visitors in December 2023 ($222 per person) was more than December 2022 ($194 per person, +14.5%) and December 2019 ($159 per person, +39.4%).

There were 88,753 visitors from all other international markets in December 2023, which included visitors from Oceania, Other Asia, Europe, Latin America, Guam, the Philippines, and the Pacific Islands. In comparison, there were 86,094 visitors (+3.1%) from all other international markets in December 2022 and 106,434 visitors (-16.6%) in December 2019.

In December 2023, a total of 5,120 transpacific flights with 1,127,115 seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands, compared to 5,286 flights (-3.1%) with 1,175,147 seats (-4.1%) in December 2022 and 5,676 flights (-9.8%) with 1,252,958 seats (-10.0%) in December 2019.

Calendar Year 2023

For all of 2023, total visitor spending rose to $20.78 billion, compared to $19.70 billion (+5.5%) in 2022 and $17.72 billion (+17.3%) in 2019.

A total of 9,644,519 visitors arrived to the state in 2023, a 4.4 percent increase from 9,233,983 visitors in 2022. Total arrivals declined 7.1 percent when compared to 10,386,673 visitors in 2019.

Other Highlights

U.S. West: In December 2023, 338,805 visitors arrived from the Pacific region, down 4.8 percent from December 2022. There were fewer visitors from California (233,426, -8.9%) and Oregon (25,454, -0.2%), which offset increases from Alaska (12,512, +10.9%) and Washington (67,414, +7.3%). Arrivals from the Mountain region (85,278 visitors,-6.5%) also declined compared to December 2022.

Most U.S. West visitors in December 2023 had been to Hawaii before (84.5%) while 15.5 percent were first-time visitors. In terms of accommodations, 48.7 percent of U.S. West visitors in December 2023 stayed in hotels, 16.2 percent stayed in condominiums, 16.4 percent stayed with friends and relatives, 12.1 percent stayed in rental homes and 9.0 percent stayed in timeshares.

For all of 2023, there were 4,998,895 visitors from the U.S. West, compared to 5,277,349 visitors (-5.3%) in 2022 and 4,595,319 visitors (+8.8%) in 2019.

U.S. West visitors spent $9.64 billion in 2023, compared to $10.09 billion (-4.4%) in 2022 and $6.95 billion (+38.7%) in 2019. The average daily visitor spending in 2023 was $227 per person, a moderate increase from $222 per person (+2.2%) in 2022, but up significantly from $175 per person (+29.6%) in 2019.

U.S. East: In December 2023, there were fewer visitors from the South Atlantic (48,702, -9.8%), East North Central (44,980, -7.4%), West South Central (41,107, -9.2%), Mid Atlantic (26,986, -8.1%), West North Central (25,862, -1.8%), New England (11,064, -16.9%) and East South Central (10,384, -9.1%) regions compared to December 2022.

Two out of three U.S. East visitors in December 2023 had been to Hawaii before (65.5%) while 34.5 percent were first-time visitors. In terms of lodging, 55.6 percent of U.S. East visitors in December 2023 stayed in hotels, 16.9 percent stayed with friends and relatives, 12.7 percent stayed in rental homes, 12.6 percent stayed in condominiums and 7.4 percent stayed in timeshares.

For all of 2023, 2,427,152 visitors arrived from the U.S. East, compared to 2,469,128 visitors (-1.7%) in 2022 and 2,276,520 visitors (+6.6%) in 2019.

U.S. East visitors spent $6.30 billion in 2023, compared to $6.16 billion (+2.2%) in 2022 and $4.68 billion (+34.5%) in 2019. Daily visitor spending in 2023 increased to $266 per person, compared to $252 per person (+5.3%) in 2022 and $213 per person (+24.9%) in 2019.

Japan: Of the 67,405 visitors in December 2023, 66,692 arrived on international flights and 713 came on domestic flights. Three out of four Japanese visitors in December 2023 were repeat visitors (75.0%) while 25.0 percent were first-time visitors to the islands. In terms of lodging, 73.8 percent of Japanese visitors in December 2023 stayed in hotels, 16.3 percent stayed in condominiums, 12.5 percent stayed in timeshares and 2.0 percent stayed with friends and relatives.

For all of 2023, there were 572,979 visitors from Japan, compared to 192,562 visitors (+197.6%) in 2022 and 1,576,205 visitors (-63.6%) in 2019.

Visitors from Japan spent $899.8 million in 2023, compared to $359.4 million (+150.4%) in 2022 and $2.25 billion (-60.0%) in 2019. Daily visitor spending in 2023 was $239 per person, higher than 2022 ($235 per person, +1.5%), but slightly less than 2019 ($242 per person, -1.1%).

Canada: Of the 55,927 visitors in December 2023, 49,593 visitors arrived via direct air service from Canada and 6,334 visitors came on domestic flights. Seven out of ten Canadian visitors in December 2023 had been to Hawaii before (71.3%) while 28.7 percent were first-time visitors. In terms of lodging, 48.9 percent of Canadian visitors in December 2023 stayed in hotels, 27.1 percent stayed in condominiums, 10.3 percent stayed in rental homes, 8.7 percent stayed in timeshares and 6.8 percent stayed with friends and relatives.

For all of 2023, there were 454,103 visitors from Canada, compared to 414,250 visitors (+9.6%) in 2022 and 540,103 visitors (-15.9%) in 2019.

Visitors from Canada spent $1.17 billion in 2023, compared to $962.1 million (+21.8%) in 2022 and $1.08 billion (+8.3%) in 2019. Daily visitor spending in 2023 increased to $220 per person, from $190 per person (+15.7%) in 2022 and $165 per person (+33.1%) in 2019.

Island Highlights

Oahu: There were 514,345 visitors to Oahu in December 2023, compared to 485,311 visitors (+6.0%) in December 2022 and 558,346 visitors (-7.9%) in December 2019. Visitor spending increased to $885.1 million in December 2023, from $874.2 million (+1.3%) in December 2022 and $778.4 million (+13.7%) in December 2019. The average daily census on Oahu was 126,829 visitors in December 2023, compared to 118,125 visitors (+7.4%) in December 2022 and 127,349 visitors (-0.4%) in December 2019.

For all of 2023, there were 5,614,956 visitors to Oahu, compared to 4,858,170 visitors (+15.6%) in 2022 and 6,154,248 visitors (-8.8%) in 2019. For 2023, total visitor spending was $9.01 billion, up from $8.69 billion (+3.7%) in 2022 and $8.14 billion (+10.7%) in 2019.

Maui: One month after most of West Maui, except for historic Lahaina Town, reopened to tourism on November 1, there were 196,402 visitors in December 2023. While still below December 2022 (261,080 visitors, -24.8%) and December 2019 (275,419 visitors, -28.7%) levels, this was the highest number of visitors to Maui in the last five months. Visitor spending was $464.4 million in December 2023, lower than December 2022 ($583.6 million, -20.4%) and December 2019 ($513.1 million, -9.5%). The average daily census on Maui was 55,524 visitors in December 2023, compared to 72,171 visitors (-23.1%) in December 2022 and 75,856 visitors (-26.8%) in December 2019.

For all of 2023, there were 2,476,751 visitors to Maui, compared to 2,921,159 visitors (-15.2%) in 2022 and 3,059,905 visitors (-19.1%) in 2019. For 2023, total visitor spending was $5.71 billion, compared to $5.82 billion (-1.9%) in 2022 and $5.13 billion (+11.4%) in 2019.

Kauai: There were 120,290 visitors to Kauai in December 2023, compared to 122,177 visitors (-1.5%) in December 2022 and 124,356 visitors (-3.3%) in December 2019. Visitor spending was $266.0 million in December 2023, compared to $200.1 million in December 2022 (+32.9%) and $175.1 million (+51.9%) in December 2019. The average daily census on Kauai was 29,895 visitors in December 2023, compared to 29,956 visitors (-0.2%) in December 2022 and 31,202 visitors (-4.2%) in December 2019.

For all of 2023, there were 1,416,856 visitors to Kauai, compared to 1,345,564 visitors (+5.3%) in 2022 and 1,370,029 visitors (+3.4%) in 2019. For 2023, total visitor spending was $2.76 billion, compared to $2.23 billion (+24.1%) in 2022 and $1.91 billion (+44.6%) in 2019.

Hawaii Island: There were 163,133 visitors to Hawaii Island in December 2023, compared to 158,856 visitors (+2.7%) in December 2022 and 177,912 visitors (-8.3%) in December 2019. Visitor spending was $309.5 million in December 2023, compared to $295.2 million (+4.9%) in December 2022 and $262.4 million (+17.9%) in December 2019. The average daily census on Hawaii Island was 44,301 visitors in December 2023, compared to 43,442 visitors (+2.0%) in December 2022 and 46,689 visitors (-5.1%) in December 2019.

For all of 2023, there were 1,766,697 visitors to Hawaii Island, compared to 1,667,633 visitors (+5.9%) in 2022 and 1,763,904 visitors (+0.2%) in 2019. For 2023, total visitor spending was $3.02 billion, compared to $2.72 billion (+10.8%) in 2022 and $2.32 billion (+30.2%) in 2019….

read … Full Report

BH:  Hawaii’s Tourism Woes Unfold: Unfazed Downturn Continues

CS: Local officials say Maui recovery heavily tourism dependent

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