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Visitor arrivals and spending in Hawaii hit all-time highs

By Dave Segal

LAST UPDATED: 10:36 a.m. HST, Jan 24, 2013

Visitor arrivals and spending last year shattered the previous records for Hawaii as the tourism industry continued to rebound strongly from the recent recession.

Just under 8 million visitors came to the state to top the previous high of 7.6 million in 2006, according to preliminary data released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Total visitors in 2012 were up 9.6 percent from 7.3 million in 2011 led by Japanese arrivals, which jumped 17 percent from the previous year. The U.S. West, the state’s largest tourism market, was up 6.7 percent in arrivals while U.S. East was up 3.5 percent and Canada ahead 4.3 percent.

Visitor spending for the year hit $14.3 billion, extending a record that it set during the first 11 months of 2012 when spending reached $12.9 billion. The previous full-year record was $12.8 billion in 2007. Total spending was up 18.7 percent from $12.1 billion last year and was led by Japan with a 21.7 percent increase. U.S. West was up 12.2 percent, with U.S. East ahead 9.9 percent and Canada up 9.8 percent.

For December, visitor arrivals increased 6.3 percent to 733,709 from 690,090 while spending rose 14.9 percent to $1.4 billion from $1.2 billion.

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Wazdat wrote:
charge all incoming flights $20 or more and build a NEW AIRPORT...
on January 24,2013 | 09:44AM
oxtail01 wrote:
We need a new airport administration first.
on January 24,2013 | 10:52AM
islandboy1562 wrote:
About time for some investments at the airport - this airport can't compare to Vegas or Vancouver(Canada) and some other foreign and domestic airports. If we are indeed a world class destination then maybe our airport should be greatly upgraded with additional attractions and stuff our visitors should be entertained with! Maybe somebody in the State Government Hierarchy should visit noteable mainland and foreign airports to get some ideas. People come to Hawaii to get entertained and get the Hawaii experience, the existing airport layout is "old and tired". I'm sure the additional $'s for airport investment and refurbishment will be worthwhile if done right - Good and easy transportation, good and friendly airport customer service and additional attractions and entertainment.
on January 24,2013 | 10:19AM
oxtail01 wrote:
So many visitors see Hawaii as Paradise. It's unfortunate that so many residents take our beautiful place for granted or, even worse, has the gall to call this place "3rd world dump". Those people should have their heads examined!
on January 24,2013 | 10:51AM
Rapanui00 wrote:
Unfortunately you are incorrect - Hawaii is a third world banana republic controlled by "The Democratic Machine". We have the highest spousal abuse in the nation, rampant crystal meth use, incredible massive homelessness and mental patients walking around loose. Our reefs are dead, we will be out of fresh water in ten years and sewage is spilling into the seas. Put on the excessive price of real estate in relation to incomes and you have a real mess. Its sad to see but Hawaii has reached the "tipping point" The parties over folks but guess what we are on a island with finite resources but you can by a designer "trophy" bag and other needless consumer items in mass...All a rather sad state of affairs and I personally know many old time residents who see the writing on the wall and are looking for a "exit strategy"! Honolulu is turning into a scene from a "Mad Max" movie...
on January 24,2013 | 11:31AM
allie wrote:
sorry...but you greatly exaggerate.
on January 24,2013 | 12:31PM
Rapanui00 wrote:
nothing is exaggerated as these are just pure facts plain and simple - truth hurts, Rome is burning....Hawaii is past the point of no return!
on January 24,2013 | 01:29PM
allie wrote:
I am from North Dakota but I see good in the people out here
on January 24,2013 | 01:59PM
HD36 wrote:
See what happens to good people who don't have any food for 3 days.
on January 24,2013 | 02:54PM
localguy wrote:
Need to put your glasses on, whole new world out there.
on January 24,2013 | 07:03PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
King Catfish.
on January 24,2013 | 02:50PM
HD36 wrote:
You're right but it will get alot worse once the US bond market crashes and the dollar follows. The entire US is at a tipping point and the US Treasury market is in the biggest bubble in history. It will make the internet bubble and the housing bubble look very small, because this one's been blowing up for over 30 years. The Federal Reserve is buying $45 billion dollars of long term treasuries a month to keep interest rates low. When they start to rise above 5% you know it's time to buy a farm and get away from all major cities in America.
on January 24,2013 | 02:52PM
Wazdat wrote:
If you have traveled around the world you would understand that Hawaii can do SO MUCH MORE and be a BETTER place for ALL. The status quo is NOT WORKING.
on January 24,2013 | 09:06PM
bodysurf_ah wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on January 24,2013 | 11:07AM
kiheilocal wrote:
Dont forget to go home.
on January 24,2013 | 12:25PM
kiheilocal wrote:
(talking to the tourists that is)
on January 24,2013 | 12:27PM
hawaiikone wrote:
A king once had a dream that was interpreted to mean his kingdom would enjoy seven years of plenty, followed by seven more of famine. To prepare, he was told to set aside the extra during the good years to prepare for the bad ones. It would be wonderful if our little king Abercrombie had the same dream.
on January 24,2013 | 12:47PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
If one were to analyze the total payroll of all employees in this State, we will find that the number one industry is Government. Number two is real estate and number three is tourism. I am not making up those numbers. It is a ranking from Pacific Business News. So why are we so happy about tourism? Because of the record numbers? Tourism can even be more successful if this State trimmed the size of government, thus decreasing the tax burden on Private Industry.
on January 24,2013 | 08:26PM
HD36 wrote:
Tourism was led by the Japanese because for 2012 the Yen was around 76 to the dollar. Shinzo Abe has announced monetary policy similar to the United States. He's going to print a quadrillion yen in order to increase inflation in Japan. The yen has now moved to 89 in anticipation of the move. Japan imports %100 of their oil so they may beat us to a hyper-inflation nation.
on January 24,2013 | 02:25PM
islandsun wrote:
This is true. Nonetheless, I see no reason why the state or city should jack us again with these kind of revenues.
on January 24,2013 | 07:03PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
It's terrific that we have so many more folks renting convertibles. It makes for great economic stimulus out on the west side.
on January 24,2013 | 03:38PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
How are those numbers tabulated? Do you simply add up all the receipts at Hotels and Restaurants? Seems like a mysterious calculation to me.
on January 24,2013 | 06:04PM
Kapcity wrote:
Some airport in Asia charged 10-15 dollars per person terminal fee on incoming flights, imagine charging them that. It's 80 million a year for ten dollar. That would help the the maintaining our airport.
on January 24,2013 | 07:50PM
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