Visitor arrivals have remained strong for the first nine months of the year, reaching 6.5 million visitors and pacing just slightly above our projections.
However, growth in spending is beginning to plateau; currently we are only 2.6 percent ahead of last year, reaching $11.3 billion.
Hawaii will see a boost in air seats during the fourth quarter. We will welcome three new flights from two new carriers, pushing total air seats to the state to a record 11.8 million for 2015. Virgin America will begin flying from San Francisco to Honolulu in November and to Kahului in December, and Jin Air, a low-cost carrier from South Korea, will begin service from Seoul to Honolulu in December. It is important for us to collaborate with our marketing and industry partners to ensure there is sufficient demand to support these new flights and all of our existing routes.
With lower domestic fuel prices, we anticipate seeing continued growth from our core U.S. markets. However, we will continue to monitor unstable economic conditions in Canada, Japan and China, which could also impact other regions in the Asia-Pacific and our major market areas.
On Dec. 8, the HTA will be holding marketing updates by our partners from China, Taiwan, Korea, Europe, Oceania and our newest market, Southeast Asia. Our contractors will be in town to present their plans for 2016 and provide insight on their respective markets.