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Thursday, March 28, 2024
Tourism Arrivals and Spending Down
By News Release @ 3:46 PM :: 1289 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Tourism

HAWAII’S VISITOR INDUSTRY CONTINUED TO STRUGGLE IN FEBRUARY 2024

News Release from DBEDT, March 28, 2024

HONOLULU—In February 2024, a total of 772,480 visitors arrived in the Hawaiian Islands and total visitor spending measured in nominal dollars was $1.66 billion, according to preliminary statistics from the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). There were 753,750 total visitors in February 2023 and total visitor spending was $1.64 billion. In pre-pandemic February 2019, there were 780,827 total visitors and visitor spending was $1.39 billion.

Though both visitor arrivals and expenditures increased as compared with the same month last year, February 2024 visitor statistics included a leap day and figures are not directly comparable to 2023 and 2019. For direct comparison with February 2023 and February 2019 visitor data, average daily census, the average number of visitors present in Hawaii on any given day, and daily visitor spending are better measures of visitor industry performance.

In February 2024, the average daily census of 236,008 total visitors declined compared to the average daily census for February 2023 (243,842 visitors, -3.2%) and the average daily census for February 2019 (246,741 visitors, -4.4%).

Daily average visitor spending was $57.1 million per day in February 2024, down from February 2023 ($58.5 million per day, -2.4%), but higher than in February 2019 ($49.6 million per day, +15.2%). Since the August 2023 Maui wildfires, both average daily visitor census and daily visitor spending have recorded seven consecutive months of year-over-year decreases.

In February 2024, 752,700 visitors arrived by air service, mainly from the U.S. West and U.S. East. Additionally, 19,780 visitors came via out-of-state cruise ships. In February 2023, 733,640 visitors arrived by air and 20,110 visitors came by cruise ships. In February 2019, 764,513 visitors arrived by air and 16,315 visitors came by cruise ships.

There were 373,230 visitor arrivals by air service from U.S. West and visitor spending was $726.5 million in February 2024. There were 378,902 visitors in February 2023 and visitor spending was $739.7 million. In February 2019, 312,235 visitors came from this market and visitor spending was $499.7 million. The average daily census of 108,614 U.S. West visitors in February 2024 was a decrease compared to the average daily census in February 2023 (115,517 visitors, -6.0%), but higher than the average daily census in February 2019 (96,870 visitors, +12.1%). U.S. West visitors’ average spending was $25.1 million per day, lower than in February 2023 ($26.4 million per day, -5.2%), but more than in February 2019 ($17.8 million per day, +40.4%).

In February 2024, 189,952 visitors came from U.S. East and visitor spending was $486.7 million. There were 203,163 visitors in February 2023 and visitor spending was $524.1 million. In February 2019, 176,777 visitors arrived from this market and visitor spending was $371.6 million. The average daily census of 64,408 U.S. East visitors in February 2024 was down from the average daily census in February 2023 (72,055 visitors, -10.6%), but was greater than the average daily census in February 2019 (63,462 visitors, +1.5%). U.S. East visitors’ average spending was $16.8 million per day, a decrease from February 2023 ($18.7 million per day, -10.3%), but higher than February 2019 ($13.3 million per day, +26.5%).

There were 55,716 visitors from Japan and visitor spending was $82.0 million in February 2024. There were 26,650 visitors in February 2023 and visitor spending was $43.7 million. In February 2019, 120,653 visitors arrived from this market and visitor spending was $165.5 million. In February 2024, the average daily census of 11,691 Japanese visitors was much higher than the average daily census in February 2023 (6,596 visitors, +77.2%), but remained below the average daily census in February 2019 (24,408 visitors, -52.1%). Average spending by Japanese visitors in February 2024 was $2.8 million per day, an increase from February 2023 ($1.6 million per day, +81.1%), but less than February 2019 ($5.9 million per day, -52.2%).

In February 2024, 52,048 visitors arrived from Canada and visitor spending was $136.2 million. There were 54,860 visitors in February 2023 and visitor spending was $147.2 million. In February 2019, 66,590 visitors came from Canada and visitor spending was $153.0 million. The average daily census of 20,977 Canadian visitors in February 2024 was a decrease from the average daily census in February 2023 (23,164 visitors, -9.4%) and from the average daily census in February 2019 (29,741 visitors, -29.5%). Canadian visitors’ average spending was $4.7 million per day, down from February 2023 ($5.3 million per day, -10.7%) and from February 2019 ($5.5 million per day, -14.1%).

There were 81,753 visitors from all other international markets in February 2024, which included visitors from Oceania, Other Asia, Europe, Latin America, Guam, the Philippines, and the Pacific Islands. There were 70,065 visitors from all other international markets in February 2023 and 88,258 visitors in February 2019. The average daily census of 27,166 visitors from all other international markets in February 2024 was greater than the average daily census in February 2023 (23,028 visitors, +18.0%), but remained lower than the average daily census in February 2019 (29,939 visitors, -9.3%).

In February 2024, a total of 4,679 transpacific flights with 1,044,478 seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands. There were 4,659 flights with 1,029,708 seats in February 2023, and 4,611 flights with 1,010,961 seats in February 2019.

Year-to-Date February 2024

In the first two months of 2024, there were 1,535,959 total visitors in the islands and total visitor spending was $3.47 billion. There were 1,545,531 total visitors in the first two months of 2023 and total visitor spending was $3.53 billion. In the first two months of 2019, there were 1,598,428 total visitors and total visitor spending was $3.01 billion.

The average daily census of 239,465 total visitors in the first two months of 2024 was down from the average daily census in first two months of 2023 (252,259 visitors, -5.1%) and the average daily census in first two months of 2019 (254,882 visitor, -6.0%). Total visitor spending averaged $57.7 million per day in the first two months of 2024, a decrease compared to the first two months of 2023 ($59.9 million per day, -3.5%), but higher than the first two months of 2019 ($50.9 million per day, +13.4%).

Other Highlights

U.S. West: In February 2024, 292,291 visitors arrived from the Pacific region and 80,741 visitors came from the Mountain region. Most U.S. West visitors in February 2024 had been to Hawaii before (84.0%) while 16.0 percent were first-time visitors. In terms of accommodations, 51.5 percent of U.S. West visitors in February 2024 stayed in hotels, 16.4 percent stayed in condominiums, 13.5 percent stayed with friends and relatives, 12.5 percent stayed in rental homes and 8.5 percent stayed in timeshares.

In the first two months of 2024, 729,404 visitors arrived from the U.S. West and visitor spending was $1.49 billion. There were 762,253 visitors in the first two months of 2023 and visitor spending was $1.54 billion. In the first two months of 2019, 629,890 visitors came from this market and visitor spending was $1.06 billion.

U.S. East: In February 2024, the three largest U.S. East regions continued to be East North Central (42,993 visitors), South Atlantic (38,025 visitors) and West North Central (32,152 visitors). Two out of three U.S. East visitors in February 2024 had been to Hawaii before (63.6%) while 36.4 percent were first-time visitors. In terms of lodging, 57.8 percent of U.S. East visitors in February 2024 stayed in hotels, 14.3 percent stayed with friends and relatives, 12.6 percent stayed in condominiums, 11.4 percent stayed in rental homes and 8.6 percent stayed in timeshares.

In the first two months of 2024, 382,442 visitors came from the U.S. East and visitor spending was $1.07 billion. There were 416,449 visitors in the first two months of 2023 and visitor spending was $1.14 billion. In the first two months of 2019, 362,029 visitors arrived from the U.S. East and visitor spending was $834.5 million.

Japan: Of the 55,716 visitors in February 2024, 55,242 visitors arrived on international flights and 474 came on domestic flights. Seven out of 10 Japanese visitors in February 2024 were repeat visitors (69.5%) while 30.5 percent were first-time visitors to the islands. In terms of lodging, 80.9 percent of Japanese visitors in February 2024 stayed in hotels, 11.0 percent stayed in condominiums, 7.8 percent stayed in timeshares and 1.9 percent stayed with friends and relatives.

In the first two months of 2024, 108,627 visitors arrived from Japan and visitor spending was $160.8 million. There were 58,955 visitors in the first two months of 2023 and visitor spending was $101.9 million. In the first two months of 2019, 241,071 visitors arrived from this market and visitor spending was $338.9 million.

Canada: Of the 52,048 visitors in February 2024, 45,897 visitors arrived via direct air service from Canada and 6,151 visitors came on domestic flights. Seven out of 10 Canadian visitors in February 2024 had been to Hawaii before (70.2%) while 29.8 percent were first-time visitors. In terms of lodging, 51.2 percent of Canadian visitors in February 2024 stayed in hotels, 24.7 percent stayed in condominiums, 11.7 percent stayed in rental homes, 10.6 percent stayed in timeshares and 7.1 percent stayed with friends and relatives.

In the first two months of 2024, 106,050 visitors arrived from Canada and visitor spending was $291.5 million. There were 111,361 visitors in the first two months of 2023 and visitor spending was $301.6 million. In the first two months of 2019, 136,277 visitors came from Canada and visitor spending was $318.5 million.

Island Highlights

Oahu: In February 2024, 453,719 visitors arrived on Oahu and visitor spending was $681.1 million. In February 2023, Oahu hosted 411,903 visitors and visitor spending was $626.6 million. There were 454,687 visitors in February 2019 and visitor spending was $609.0 million. In February 2024, the average daily census of 111,355 visitors on Oahu was up compared to the average daily census in February 2023 (105,534 visitors, +5.5%) and the average daily census in February 2019 (109,506 visitors, +1.7%). In February 2024, visitor spending averaged $23.5 million per day, which was higher than in February 2023 ($22.4 million per day, +4.9%) and February 2019 ($ 21.7 million per day, +8.0%).

In the first two months of 2024, there were 904,222 visitors on Oahu and visitor spending was $1.42 billion. There were 847,737 visitors in the first two months of 2023 and visitor spending was $1.38 million. In the first two months of 2019, there were 943,127 visitors and visitor spending was $1.31 billion.

Maui: In February 2024, there were 181,301 visitors on Maui and visitor spending was $443.1 million. There were 220,741 visitors in February 2023 and visitor spending was $540.1 million. In February 2019, there were 221,603 visitors and visitor spending was $413.2 million. In February 2024, the average daily census on Maui of 51,976 visitors was down significantly compared to the average daily census in February 2023 (66,332 visitors, -21.6%) and from the average daily census in February 2019 (67,040 visitors, -22.5%). In February 2024, average visitor spending on Maui was $15.3 million per day, a decrease compared to February 2023 ($19.3 million per day, -20.8%), but higher than in February 2019 ($14.8 million per day, +3.5%).

In the first two months of 2024, 356,305 visitors arrived on Maui and visitor spending was $946.9 million. There were 449,484 visitors in the first two months of 2023 and visitor spending was $1.17 billion. In the first two months of 2019, there were 455,025 visitors and visitor spending was $887.4 million.

Kauai: There were 108,825 visitors to Kauai in February 2024 and visitor spending was $234.0 million. In February 2023, 100,525 visitors arrived on the island and visitor spending was $203.8 million. There were 104,445 visitors in February 2019 and visitor spending was $152.8 million. The average daily census on Kauai of 28,421 visitors in February 2024 was higher than the average daily census in February 2023 (27,473 visitors, +3.5%) and the average daily census in February 2019 (28,271 visitors, +0.5%). In February 2024, average visitor spending was $8.1 million per day, which was higher than in February 2023 ($7.3 million per day, +10.9%) and February 2019 ($5.5 million per day, +47.8%).

In the first two months of 2024, 214,873 visitors arrived on Kauai, with $481.3 million in visitor spending. There were 207,505 visitors in the first two months of 2023 and visitor spending was $438.4 million. In the first two months of 2019, there were 210,587 visitors and visitor spending was $329.4 million.

Hawaii Island: In February 2024, 145,188 visitors arrived on Hawaii Island and visitor spending was $272.8 million. There were 137,444 visitors in February 2023 and visitor spending was $244.1 million. In February 2019, there were 138,387 visitors and visitor spending was $192.3 million. The average daily census on Hawaii Island was 39,636 visitors in February 2024, down slightly from the average daily census in February 2023 (39,845 visitors, -0.5%), but higher than the average daily census in February 2019 (37,883 visitors, +4.6%). In February 2024, average visitor spending was $9.4 million per day, an increase compared to February 2023 ($8.7 million per day, +7.9%) and February 2019 ($6.9 million per day, +37.0%).

In the first two months of 2024, there were 288,221 visitors on Hawaii Island and visitor spending was $572.2 million. There were 285,821 visitors in the first two months of 2023 and visitor spending was $504.2 million. In the first two months of 2019, there were 285,789 visitors with $445.7 million in visitor spending.

Flights and Air Seats to Hawaii

U.S. West: In February 2024, 3,336 scheduled flights with 695,975 seats serviced Hawaii from U.S. West. There were 3,425 flights with 711,405 seats in February 2023 and 2,949 flights with 591,313 seats in February 2019.

Air capacity in February 2024 decreased in comparison to February 2023. Fewer scheduled seats from Anchorage, Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose offset additional seats from Denver and Seattle. There was also direct air service from Everett, Washington in February 2024 which was not operating in February 2023.

Air capacity in February 2024 increased compared to February 2019. There were additional scheduled seats from Denver, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Oakland, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose and Seattle. There was also service from Everett and Ontario in February 2024, which was not operating in February 2019.

U.S. East: In February 2024, 389 scheduled flights with 103,717 seats serviced Hawai?i from U.S. East. There were 434 flights with 122,538 seats in February 2023 and 300 flights with 88,051 seats in February 2019.

Air capacity in February 2024 declined compared to February 2023, primarily due to reduced scheduled seats from Atlanta, Dallas, Newark and Detroit.

Air capacity increased compared to February 2019. There were additional scheduled seats from New York JFK, Washington D.C., as well as service from Austin, Boston and Detroit, which did not operate in February 2019.

Japan: In February 2024, there were 375 scheduled flights with 109,818 seats from Japan, compared to 238 flights with 64,554 seats in February 2023 and 632 flights with 158,160 seats in February 2019.

Canada: There were 305 scheduled flights with 56,671 seats from Canada in February 2024, compared to 325 flights with 60,446 seats in February 2023 and 367 flights with 65,625 seats in February 2019.

Oceania:

  • Australia: In February 2024, there were 59 scheduled flights with 17,941 seats from Melbourne and Sydney. There were 52 flights with 15,558 seats from Melbourne and Sydney in February 2023. There were 85 flights with 26,860 seats from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney in February 2019.
  • New Zealand: There were 23 scheduled flights with 6,682 seats from Auckland in February 2024. There were 22 flights with 6,353 seats in February 2023 and 26 flights with 7,670 seats in February 2019.

Other Asia:

  • China: There have been no direct flights from China to Hawaii since service ended in early February 2020. In comparison, there were 41 scheduled flights with 11,087 seats with service from Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai in February 2019.
  • Korea: There were 85 scheduled flights with 25,973 seats from Seoul in February 2024. There were 76 flights with 24,312 seats in February 2023 and 92 flights with 30,362 seats in February 2019.
  • Taiwan: Direct air service from Taipei has been suspended since April 2020. There were eight scheduled flights with 2,448 seats in February 2019.

Other Markets:

  • Guam: There were 29 scheduled flights with 10,150 seats from Guam in February 2024. There were 28 flights with 9,800 seats in February 2019 and 28 flights with 10,192 seats in February 2019.
  • Philippines: There were 21 scheduled flights with 6,489 seats from Manila in February 2024. There were 20 flights with 6,180 seats in February 2023 and 20 flights with 5,360 seats in February 2019.
  • Samoa: There were four scheduled flights with 680 seats from Apia in February 2024 and in February 2023. In February 2019 there were four flights with 656 seats.
  • Rarotonga: There were four scheduled flights with 756 seats in February 2024. There was no direct air service from the Cook Islands in February 2023 or in February 2019.
  • Kiribati: There was no direct air service from Christmas Island in February 2024 or February 2023. There were four flights with 488 seats in February 2019.
  • Marshall Islands: There was no direct service to Majuro in February 2024. There were two flights with 332 seats in February 2023 and 16 flights with 2,656 seats in February 2019.
  • Fiji: There were eight scheduled flights with 1,360 seats from Nadi in February 2024 and in February 2023. There were four flights with 656 seats in February 2019.
  • American Samoa: There were eight scheduled flights with 2,224 seats from Pago Pago in February 2024, in February 2023 and in February 2019.
  • French Polynesia: There were four scheduled flights with 1,112 seats from Papeete in February 2024, in February 2023 and in February 2019.

In the first two months of 2024, there were 9,568 transpacific flights with 2,146,430 seats. There were 9,870 flights with 2,185,734 seats in the first two months of 2023, and 9,769 flights with 2,145,143 seats in the first two months of 2019.

Cruise Ship Visitors

In February 2024, 19,780 visitors came to the islands aboard 12 tours from out-of-state ships. Another 9,426 visitors flew to the state to board the Hawaii home-ported ship Pride of America.

In February 2023, 20,110 visitors (-1.6%) came to the islands aboard nine tours on out-of-state cruise ships. Another 9,563 visitors (-1.4%) flew to the state to board the Pride of America.

In February 2019, 16,315 visitors (+21.2%) came to the islands aboard eight tours on out-of-state cruise ships and another 9,046 visitors (+4.2%) came by air to board the Pride of America.

In the first two months of 2024, 37,616 visitors came to Hawaii via 26 tours aboard out-of-state cruise ships and 18,627 visitors flew to Hawaii and boarded the Pride of America.

In the first two months of 2023, 36,759 visitors (+2.3%) came to Hawaii via 17 tours aboard out-of-state ships and 18,525 visitors (+0.6%) flew to Hawaii and boarded the Pride of America.

In the first two months of 2019, 28,348 visitors (+32.7%) came to Hawaii aboard 15 out-of-state cruise ships and 18,404 visitors (+1.2%) flew to Hawaii and boarded the Pride of America.

Statement by DBEDT Director James Kunane Tokioka:

The visitor statistics indicate that our tourism industry continues to be soft. The main reasons for the weakness include the continued impact of the Maui wildfires and the shift of U.S. and Canadian visitors to other international destinations due to currency appreciation. The currency situation is expected to improve when the Federal Reserve starts to cut interest rates during the second half of 2024.

We are pleased to see the Japan market and other international markets continue to recover during the first two months of this year. With Governor Green’s most recent trip to Japan to strengthen tourism opportunities in partnership with the U.S. government, the Japanese government, and the private sector, we are optimistic about the outcomes to support travel and economic growth for Hawaii and Japan.


1/ Average daily census measures the number of visitors present on any given day.

# # #

View the February 2024 tables here.

SA: February marks 7th monthly decline for Hawaii’s visitor industry 

BH: Rising Costs Continue To Drive Down Hawaii Visitors - Beat of Hawaii

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