Visitor Arrivals Reached A New Record For The Month Of August But Visitor Expenditure Growth Was Flat
Arrivals by air to the Hawaiian Islands set a new record for the month of August, with an increase of 2.9 percent to 755,863 visitors, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA). Most major market areas saw growth in arrivals, led by U.S. West (+2.8% to 313,181) and U.S. East (+2.4% to 146,052 visitors). Arrivals from Canada rose 8.8 percent to 28,214 visitors while Japanese arrivals of 157,543 visitors (+0.5%) was comparable to August 2014. Arrivals from all other markets increased 5.8 percent to 110,871 visitors.
Despite gains in visitor volumes, lower daily spending across many visitor markets resulted in flat growth in total visitor expenditures for August 2015 (-0.5% to $1.3 billion). Decreased daily spending contributed to losses in Japanese (-8.2% to $226 million) and U.S. East (-2.5% to $287.4 million) visitor expenditures. For the U.S. West and Canadian markets, growth in arrivals offset a slight drop in daily spending. U.S. West expenditures rose slightly (+0.8%) to $449.8 million in August 2015 while Canadian visitor expenditures (+6.9% to $49.3 million) also increased.
All four larger Hawaiian Islands saw growth in arrivals: Maui (+5.3%), Kauai (+2.3%), Hawaii Island (+2.2%) and Oahu (+1.6%), which contributed to growth in visitor days on all four islands. Expenditures increased for Maui (+1% to $333.6 million), Hawaii Island (+3.1% to $161.9 million) and Kauai (+10.2% to $130.4 million) but declined for Oahu (-3.2% to $637.7 million). On Lanai, with most of the hotel rooms on the island closed for renovation, arrivals declined 20.3 percent while visitor expenditures were reduced by two-thirds (-67.2% to $2 million) compared to August 2014.
There were 1,074,914 total air seats to Hawaii in August 2015, up 5.4 percent from the same month last year. Growth in scheduled seats from Canada (+30%), Oceania (+13.4%), U.S. East (+8%), Japan (+6.6%) and U.S. West (+4.7%) offset a 1.8 percent decline in available capacity from Other Asia. No out-of-state cruise ships came to the islands in August 2015 or August 2014.
Through the first eight months of 2015, arrivals rose 4.1 percent and visitor spending increased to $10.3 billion (+3.1%). Growth in arrivals from U.S. West (+7.7%) and U.S. East (+2.3%) balanced fewer visitors from Japan (-1.1%). Expenditures by U.S. West (+6.9% to $3.6 billion) and Canadian (+3.8% to $766.5 million) visitors increased, but U.S. East (-1.4% to $2.6 billion) and Japanese (-9.8% to $1.4 billion) visitor expenditures declined compared to the first eight months of 2014.
Maui (+5.9%), Hawaii Island (+4.9%), Kauai (+4.5%) and Oahu (+2.5%) saw growth in arrivals compared to year-to-date 2014. Higher daily spending contributed to increased visitor expenditures on Maui (+6.4% to $2.9 billion) and Kauai (+15.5% to $1.1 billion). Visitor expenditures for Hawaii Island rose slightly (+0.8%) to $1.3 billion, while Oahu’s visitor expenditures of $4.9 billion (-0.3%) was similar to a year ago.