For the first half of 2015, visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands rose four percent and visitor spending increased to $7.6 billion (+3.5%), according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Growth in arrivals was led by more visitors from U.S West (+8.7%) and U.S. East (+1.8%), which balanced fewer visitors from Japan (-2.1%) and Canada (-1.2%). Expenditures by U.S. West (+7.3% to $2.6 billion) and Canadian (+3.6% to $669.9 million) visitors increased, but U.S. East (-1.4% to $1.9 billion) and Japanese (-11% to $987.4 million) visitor expenditures declined compared to the first half of 2014.
All four larger Hawaiian Islands saw growth in arrivals compared to the first half of 2014: Maui (+5.7%), Kauai (+5.3%), Hawaii Island (+5.2%) and Oahu (+2.6%). Higher daily spending contributed to growth in visitor expenditures on Maui (+7.7% to $2.2 billion) and Kauai (+15.8% to $821.1 million) compared to the first half of 2014. Visitor expenditures on Oahu ($3.5 billion) and Hawaii Island ($935.4 million) were comparable to a year ago.
For the month of June 2015, the Lions Clubs International Convention brought nearly 18,000 delegates from 130 countries and boosted visitor growth throughout the state. Total arrivals rose six percent to 767,905 visitors. Arrivals by air grew 6.1 percent to 767,408 visitors, offsetting a 64.4 percent decline in arrivals by cruise ships. Total visitor days rose five percent compared to June 2014. Convention visitors from U.S. East and Canada tripled, in addition to significant growth from Japan (+56.4%) and U.S. West (+62.5%). Total visitor expenditures gained 4.4 percent to $1.3 billion.
For U.S. West, growth in arrivals (+8% to 343,941 visitors) led to a 3.9 percent in visitor expenditures to $514 million. Their average daily spending of $158 per person was down 1.2 percent compared to June 2014 ($160 per person). U.S. East arrivals increased 8.5 percent to 186,795 visitors, and daily spending rose to $203 per person (+3.6%). This led to a 10.2 percent growth in visitor expenditures to $390.7 million.
Japanese arrivals declined 2.3 percent to 118,911 visitors. Lower daily spending (-10% to $254 per person) also resulted in an 11.7 percent drop in visitor expenditures to $174.3 million.
Arrivals from Canada rose 9.2 percent to 18,715 visitors in June 2015. However, a shorter length of stay and decreased daily spending (-6.8% to $152 per person) caused visitor expenditures to decline to $32.2 million (-4.3%). Arrivals from All Other markets grew 5.7 percent to 99,046 visitors. Expenditures from All Other visitors was $228.3 million, 12.7 percent higher than in June 2014.
There were 1,043,885 total air seats to Hawaii in June 2015, up 9.2 percent from a year ago. Growth in scheduled seats from Canada (+26.5%), U.S. East (+21.6%), Oceania (+20.2%) and U.S. West (+12%) offset fewer seats from Other Asia (-14.5%) and Japan (-4.5%).