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Hawaii’s Tourism Economy Continues to Pace Ahead of 2013 Record

November 1, 2014 Destination Hawaii No Comments Email Email

For the first three quarters of 2014, visitor spending and arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands continued to be slightly ahead of our record pace in 2012 and 2013. While we are just shy of our targets, we are optimistic that 2014 will be another record-breaking year for Hawaii’s tourism economy.

EventsMore than $40 million is infused into the state’s economy each day thanks to an average of 23,000 visitors who arrive on the islands each day and spend an average of $196 per person per day. This has resulted in 6.2 million visitor arrivals and $11.1 billion in total expenditures, generating $1.2 billion in state tax revenue year-to-date through September, $24 million more than the same period last year.

By focusing on diversifying Hawaii’s tourism profile through attracting new potential markets, the HTA has been able to increase year-to-date international arrivals by double digits from developing markets including New Zealand (+29.2% to 48,574 visitors), China (+27.4% to 128,792 visitors) and Korea (+17.8% to 145,622 visitors). These efforts have been enhanced by dedicating separate contracts for global marketing representation in Korea, China, and Taiwan as well as Latin America, which have helped to better target and grow destination awareness in each region. With tremendous growth potential in the Asia Pacific region, the HTA is also looking to grow Hawaii’s presence in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.

Together with our global marketing contractors, we continue to work towards sustaining and growing demand to support domestic and international flights, which are projected to reach a record 11.2 million air seats through the end of 2014, more than 423,000 in incremental air seats compared to 2013. Growth in the fourth quarter is expected to be driven by an 8.9 percent increase in domestic seats. Moving forward, we all need to continue to work collaboratively to maintain and stimulate demand to keep these seats in market, while being mindful of the increased competition from other destinations.

Despite external challenges including increased competition from other destinations, fluctuating currency exchange rates and fuel surcharges, as well as unstable economic conditions, we continue to maintain the positive momentum experienced over the last two years. It is important that we continue to work towards sustaining this growth to ensure the long-term sustainability of Hawaii’s tourism economy.

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