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Hawaii Visitor Spending Rose 8.7 Percent in May 2017

July 3, 2017 Destination Hawaii No Comments Email Email
Visitors spent a total of $1.3 billion in the Hawaiian Islands in May 2017, an increase of 8.7 percent versus a year ago, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA). In addition, total visitor arrivals rose 4.5 percent to 751,191 visitors fueled by growth in arrivals by air (+3.9% to 737,254) and by cruise ships (+49.1% to 13,937).

Hawaii’s four largest visitor markets, U.S. West, U.S. East, Japan and Canada, all reported year-over-year increases in visitor spending and arrivals for the third straight month in May 2017.

Spending by U.S West visitors rose in May 2017 (+9% to $478.7 million) boosted by growth in arrivals (+2.8% to 313,654) and higher daily spending (+5.3% to $172 per person).

The U.S. East market recorded a strong month in May 2017 compared to a year ago. Total spending increased (+16.4% to $351 million), as did spending per day (+7.4% to $208 per person). Arrivals grew (+10.7% to 173,010) supported by air seat capacity increases to Honolulu and Kahului.
The Japan market continued to benefit from the introduction of direct air service to Kona and increased air service to Honolulu. Visitor spending (+9.7% to $168.8 million), visitor arrivals (+4.4% to 117,970) and daily spending (+3.8% to $246 per person) were all higher versus last year.
The Canada market continued to rebound, as both visitor spending (+19.2% to $46.1 million) and arrivals (+16.6% to 25,396) increased in May 2017 year-over-year.

Visitor spending from All Other International markets declined in May 2017 (-3.9% to $232.9 million) due to a drop in visitor arrivals (-5.4% to 107,224) and lower daily spending.

All four larger Hawaiian Islands saw growth in visitor spending and arrivals in May 2017 compared to a year ago. Kauai and the island of Hawaii have both recorded double-digit growth in visitor spending in each of the first five months of 2017.

Total air seats serving Hawaii in May 2017 dropped slightly (-0.7% to 971,957) versus last year. Growth in scheduled seats from U.S. East (+10.6%) and Japan (+6.5%) were offset by declines from Other Asia (-17.3%), Oceania (-13.1%) and U.S. West (-1.6%).

Year-to-Date 2017
Visitor spending statewide increased through the first five months of 2017 (+9.8% to $6.9 billion) bolstered by growth in arrivals (+4.2% to 3,769,058) and daily spending (+5.2% to $202 per person).

Year-to-date, Hawaii’s four largest visitor markets, U.S. West (+14.9% to $2.5 billion), U.S. East (+11.4% to $1.8 billion), Japan (+14.6% to $877.4 million) and Canada (+9.9% to $571.4 million), have all reported strong growth in visitor spending compared to the same period a year ago.

Visitor spending from All Other International markets declined year-to-date (-4.5% to $1.2 billion) as a result of decreased arrivals (-5% to 495,650) and lower daily spending (-3.9% to $245 per person) compared to the first five months of 2016.

Other Highlights:

  • U.S. West: Visitor arrivals increased from the Pacific (+3.1%) and Mountain (+1.7%) regions in May 2017 compared to last year, driven by more visitors from Colorado (+9.7%), Utah (+8.3%), Oregon (+8.3%), Washington (+6.7%) and California (+1.9%). Through the first five months of 2017, arrivals increased from both the Pacific (+2.3%) and Mountain (+6.2%) regions.
  • U.S. East: Visitor arrivals were up from all regions in May 2017 versus last year led by the two largest regions, South Atlantic (+13.6%) and East North Central (+8.1%). Year-to-date, arrivals increased from all regions compared to a year ago.
  • Japan: Significantly more visitors stayed in timeshare (+42.3%) and condominium (+30.8%) properties in May 2017 year-over-year. Fewer visitors purchased group tours (-29.5%) and packaged trips (-10.3%), while more made their own travel arrangements (+45.6%).
  • Canada: For the third consecutive month, both visitor spending and arrivals increased year-over-year in May 2017. The Canada visitor market is continuing to recover from sharp decreases in spending and arrivals during most of 2016 when the country was faced with currency devaluation and challenges in its economy.
  • MCI: Visitors who came to Hawaii for meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI) increased in May 2017 (+1.9% to 42,703) versus last year. More visitors attended corporate meetings (+36%) but fewer participated in conventions (-8.9%) and traveled on incentive trips (-2.3%). For the first five months of 2017, growth in MCI visitors (-0.1% to 241,055) was flat versus year-to-date 2016.

Highlights from All Other Markets:

  • Australia: Visitor arrivals were comparable in May 2017 (+0.4% to 30,356) to a year ago. Year-to-date, arrivals declined (-3.8% to 121,441) versus the same period last year.
  • New Zealand: Visitor arrivals increased in May 2017 (+3.6% to 5,519) and year-to-date for 2017 (+8.2% to 19,966).
  • China: Growth in visitor arrivals has been fluctuating throughout 2017. Arrivals declined in both May 2017 (-15.3% to 17,088) and year-to-date (-8.4% to 67,982) compared to last year.
  • Korea: Visitor arrivals decreased in May 2017 (-11.6% to 15,714) and year-to-date (-4.9% to 93,763). Reduced seat capacity due to a carrier suspending service to Hawaii from March to late May 2017 for maintenance contributed to the drop in arrivals during that timeframe.
  • Taiwan: Visitor arrivals dropped in May 2017 (-1.4% to 1,479), but remained ahead of pace year-to-date (+1.8% to 7,533) compared to a year ago.
  • Europe: Growth in visitor arrivals from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland was flat in May 2017 (-0.2% to 10,775) versus last year. Arrivals through the first five months decreased (-4.2% to 47,604) compared to last year.
  • Latin America: Visitor arrivals from Mexico, Brazil and Argentina declined in May 2017 (-4.5% to 1,985) and through the first five months of the year (-10.9% to 9,929).

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