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Hawaii's tourism industry sees more visitors but less spending

By Allison Schaefers

LAST UPDATED: 12:57 p.m. HST, Aug 29, 2013

Visitor spending was flat and arrivals grew only 4.6 percent in July, which is typically one of the best months for Hawaii's tourism industry. 

As many as 757,969 visitors came to Hawaii in July; however, they spent .7 percent less than they did in July 2012 and visitors from every market but Canada cut their trips shorter, according to monthly visitor data released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. 

Total spending fell a skosh to $1.3 billion in July partly because U.S. West visitors, the state's core market, only spent an average of $145.5 a day which equated to 2.7 percent less per person than in July of 2012. Visitors from this market also cut their trips by .6 percent and spent 3.3 percent less per trip than they did the prior year. 

The U.S. East, Hawaii's second largest visitor source market, also saw daily spending decline 4.5 percent to $190.9 a visitor. These visitors cut their length of stay by .8 percent and spent 5.2 percent less per trip then they did in July 2012. 

Likewise, a 2.9 percent drop in arrivals from Japan, the state’s largest international market, hurt overall spending. It didn't help Hawaii's performance that those who came from Japan only spent $250 a day on average, which was 16.5 percent than they did a year ago. While Japanese visitors' stays fell just .2 percent from the prior year, these visitors spent 16.7 percent less per trip and 19.1 percent less overall.  

Stronger growth from Canada and emerging markets like China, Korea, Taiwan, helped balance the market. However, on a per-trip basis, July spending fell from every market but Canada. 

Even with July's contraction, arrivals rose 5.5 percent to nearly 4.66 million for the first seven months of the year. Spending during that period also rose .7 percent to $8.7 billion. 

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AhiPoke wrote:
Hawaii needs to address its inflation in room rates, which are now near the highest in the nation/world. Most tourist are at least somewhat cost conscious. I know I am. There is a point at which it will have a negative impact on visitors.
on August 29,2013 | 11:25AM
mcc wrote:
They heard about the hotels that have gouging prices, the streets are littered and the homeless beg on the streets. Not a nice destination...
on August 29,2013 | 11:27AM
allie wrote:
Hawaii is getting a little overexposed. We are vulnerable to the international economy and Israel is demanding more war in the Mid east. Obama is likely to unload bombs soon and do what he was ordered to do. When that happens expect oil to spike it already has) and tourism to drop like a stone. Sorry..but you all need a more diverse economy. meanwhile china will want a different kind of experience in Hawaii. I serve visitors in Waikiki and many say they are bored with the place. not enough to do. Chinese especially find the place dirty looking and a bore. I beg you all to not think your good numbers will continue.
on August 29,2013 | 11:29AM
pakeheat wrote:
Bored and not enough to do, you must be boring too? Try go back NDakota and you be bored stiff, LOL
on August 29,2013 | 11:33AM
8082062424 wrote:
wrong our Asian visitors love it here and most return every year or so.
on August 29,2013 | 11:36AM
false wrote:
Some do but many go on to newer and different experiences elsewhere. Hawaii needs a casino to attract and keep the Asian high rollers. As for mainland tourists, they are tight with their limited funds.
on August 29,2013 | 07:26PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
How do they arrive at SO PRECISE spending numbers?
on August 29,2013 | 01:08PM
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