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Hawaii Visitor Spending Increased 13.4 Percent to $1.42 Billion in April 2018

Posted on May 31, 2018 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), issued the following statement commenting on Hawaii’s visitor statistics results for April 2018.

“Hawaii tourism continued to enjoy the benefits of increased air seat capacity and strong travel demand during the shoulder month of April, as visitor spending grew by 13.4 percent to $1.42 billion. Hawaii’s key visitors markets in the mainland U.S., Japan and Canada all produced admirable results, but it was the combined performance of the other international markets, with a 34.7 percent increase in visitor spending, that helped solidify April’s success.

“Hawaii’s four island counties each generated excellent visitor spending totals in April, with Oahu leading the way with an increase of 15.9 percent. It was especially heartening to see Kauai produce such strong results after enduring the record-setting rainfall and destructive flooding that shut down the north shore beyond Wainiha, including the popular Haena State Park and Kalalau Trail.

“April’s visitor spending elevated the tax revenue that tourism has generated for the State of Hawaii so far in 2018 to $728.5 million, which is an increase of 10.8 percent, or $71.3 million more than last year.

“A third of the year is now in the books and the tourism industry has turned in strong results. The credit is shared by the thousands of tourism professionals who are committed to excellence in service and making a vacation in the Hawaiian Islands a memorable event for our visitors. On behalf of the HTA, we extend our warmest mahalo to all of those employed in our state’s largest and leading industry for their hard work and dedication to sharing the aloha spirit every day.”

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Media Contacts:
Charlene Chan
Director of Communications
Hawaii Tourism Authority
808-973-2272 (o)
808-781-7733 (m)
[email protected]

Patrick Dugan
Senior Vice President
Anthology Marketing Group
808-539-3411 (o)
808-741-2712 (m)
[email protected]

For Immediate Release: May 31, 2018
HTA Release (18-32)

Hawaii Visitor Spending Increased 13.4 Percent to $1.42 Billion in April 2018

HONOLULU – Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $1.42 billion in April 2018, an increase of 13.4 percent compared to last year, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA).

Hawaii’s four largest visitor markets, U.S. West (+11.7% to $547.8 million), U.S. East (+4% to $310.5 million), Japan (+7.1% to $155.9 million) and Canada (+10% to $99.4 million), all reported gains in visitor spending in April year-over-year. Combined visitor spending from All Other International Markets (+34.7% to $297.6 million) also increased in April versus last year.

Visitors also spent more on an average daily basis from U.S. West (+4.8% to $184 per person), U.S. East (+1.4% to $218 per person), Japan (+4.5% to $232 per person) and Canada (+7.6% to $160 per person) in April compared to a year ago.

Total visitor arrivals rose 6.6 percent to 803,005 visitors in April, supported by growth in arrivals from both air service (+6.5% to 786,053) and cruise ships (+11.7% to 16,951). Total visitor days[1] increased 5.5 percent in April. The average daily census[2], or the number of visitors on any given day in April, was 227,729, up 5.5 percent compared to April of last year.

Visitor arrivals increased from U.S. West (+8% 347,729), U.S. East (+4.1% to 153,606), Japan (+2.9% to 112,734), Canada (+6.4% to 52,073) and All Other International Markets (+9.2% to 119,910) in April versus last year.

All four larger Hawaiian Islands realized growth in visitor spending and arrivals in April compared to last year.

A total of 1,084,745 trans-Pacific air seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands in April, up 10.9 percent from a year ago. Growth in air seat capacity from Oceania (+15.5%), U.S. West (+14.8%), U.S. East (+12%), Canada (+1.1%) and Japan (+0.7%) offset fewer seats from Other Asia (-0.8%).

Year-to-Date 2018

Year-to-date through April 2018, visitor spending (+10.8% to $6.24 billion) surpassed the results from the same period last year. Visitor spending increased from U.S. West (+9.5% to $2.22 billion), U.S. East (+11% to $1.59 billion), Japan (+8.9% to $771.5 million), Canada (+8% to $567.6 million) and from All Other International Markets (+16.7% to $1.07 billion) compared to last year.

Statewide average daily spending rose to $210 per person (+3.6%) through the first four months of 2018 compared to the same period of a year ago.

Year-to-date, statewide visitor arrivals increased (+8.7% to 3,281,609) versus last year. Visitor arrivals increased from U.S. West (+12% to 1,310,192), U.S. East (+8.4% to 721,101), Canada (+6.3% to 259,760) and All Other International Markets (+12.8% to 438,249), while arrivals from Japan (+0.4% to 495,399) were comparable.

Other Highlights:

• U.S. West: Visitor arrivals increased from the Pacific (+7.6%) and Mountain (+10.9%) regions in April compared to a year ago, with growth reported from Oregon (+27.6%), Utah (+21.7%), Colorado (+20%), Washington (+12.3%), Arizona (+8.9%) and California (+4.4%). Through the first four months, arrivals rose from the Mountain (+12.7%) and Pacific (+12%) regions versus the same period last year.

• U.S. East: In April, growth in visitor arrivals from the New England (+29.5%), West South Central (+22.9%), East South Central (+8.5%), West North Central (+5.6%) and East North Central (+3.7%) regions offset decreases from the Mid Atlantic (-11%) and South Atlantic (-1%) regions. Year-to-date through April, all regions showed increases in arrivals, highlighted by growth from the two largest regions, South Atlantic (+10.1%) and East North Central (+10.1%).

• Japan: Visitor arrivals in April were boosted by the start of Golden Week, traditionally a period of growth for outbound Japan travel. Golden Week is a string of four holidays that occurs from April 29 through May 5 each year. The combination of holidays and weekends creates a longer-than-normal vacation period that is favorable to long-haul destinations like Hawaii. Visitors traveling to Hawaii for Golden Week started arriving April 28. More visitors stayed in hotels (+4.4%) in April versus last year. Stays in condominiums (+0.3%) were similar to last April, while stays in timeshares (-1.8%) were down. Fewer visitors purchased group tours (-5.2%) and package trips (-4.7%), while more visitors made their own travel arrangements (+15.8%).

• Canada: Significantly more visitors stayed in rental homes (+46%) in April. Stays in hotels (+7.1%) also increased compared to last April.

• MCI: A total of 52,982 visitors came for meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI) in April, up 8.3 percent compared to last year. More visitors came to attend conventions (+28.5%) but fewer visitors traveled on incentive trips (-9% to 19,527) compared to last April. Contributing to the growth in convention visitors were the more than 10,000 out-of-state delegates who attended the 2018 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology event at the Hawaii Convention Center. Year-to-date through April, total MCI visitors was up slightly (+0.6% to 199,570) from the same period last year.

[1] Aggregate number of days stayed by all visitors.
[2] Average daily census is the average number of visitors present on a single day.

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