The first half of 2015 started off strong with year-to-date expenditures reaching a record $7.6 billion (+3.5%) and contributing $806.92 million in state tax revenue. While visitor spending is slightly behind target, arrivals are pacing ahead, and we anticipate finishing the year ahead of 2014’s record-breaking numbers.
With more than 1,053 flights per week to the Hawaiian Islands, providing both our visitors and residents with the ability to travel to and from the state, airlift remains the key to our industry’s success. We continue to work with our partners to grow and maintain airlift, and through our collaborative efforts, project reaching a record 11.9 million total air seats to Hawaii by the end of the year.
To strengthen our ties with the airlines and continue to highlight the unique attributes of the islands, we will also be hosting the first-ever Hawaii Tourism Authority Airline Summit, during which HTA leaders will meet with 15 to 20 airline network planners from across the U.S. and Asia-Pacific regions. The Summit will be held in conjunction with our 2015 Hawaii Tourism Conference, the state’s premier tourism event, which will include informative sessions and workshops that provide insight, updates, trends and forecasts for the state’s lead economic driver.
As we begin this new chapter at the HTA, we look forward to collaborating and networking with our visitor industry partners, stakeholders, community and government officials and encourage everyone to join us at this year’s Hawaii Tourism Conference.