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Visitor arrivals to Hawaii fall for first time in 2 years

By Allison Schaefers

LAST UPDATED: 11:50 a.m. HST, Oct 31, 2013

People enjoyed the water and sunshine  at Waikiki Beach on Wednesday. "Our visitors are at a much higher risk for ocean-related harms than residents because they don't have knowledge and understanding

Total visitor arrivals to Hawaii in September fell for the first time in two years as arrivals from the U.S. declined.

International tourist gains helped to contain the year-over-year dip to 1 percent and bring total arrivals in September to 594,181, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Arrivals from Hawaii's largest U.S. West market fell 5.9 percent and dropped 0.2 percent from U.S. East. However, arrivals rose 2 percent from Japan; 0.2 percent from Canada; 3.2 percent from cruise ships; and 4.8 percent from so-called emerging markets which include China, Korea, Taiwan and Latin America. 

Overall visitor spending also dropped in September to $1.04 billion, a 4.8 percent decline from September 2012. Spending declines from the U.S.West, Japan and cruise ships, were partially offset by gains from all other markets.

"We will continue to monitor the effects of the federal government shutdown and delicate global economy to ensure the sustainability and success of our tourism industry," said Mike McCartney," HTA president and CEO.

Despite the dip in arrivals and spending in September, Hawaii has continued to pace ahead of 2012 in the first three quarters of this year McCartney said. Year-to-date visitor spending rose $11 billion and total visitor arrivals increased 4.5 percent to 6 million. 

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USCdad wrote:
Airfare from Los Angeles to Honolulu is about a grand per person during the peak travel seasons (ie when kids are out of school). Multiply that for a family of 4 or 5 and you've gone through a vacation budget without even stepping foot on the island. You get the idea. So the airlines are now making bank by raising prices and nickel and diming the consumers. Okay. High demand, limited supply. But at some point, the people who used to visit regularly are now opting for vacations closer to home with no flight required. I can't say I blame them for using the "Disney" model of replacing the average flyer with the more affluent but along with the strategy you gotta expect less travelers.
on October 31,2013 | 11:15AM
false wrote:
Government shutdown had an affect in the downturn of the tourism numbers.
on October 31,2013 | 11:22AM
serious wrote:
BS, most government workers not only got their pay back but the unemployment $$$$ when they were off. And they knew it. Should have been more government "vacation" tourists!!
on October 31,2013 | 01:51PM
false wrote:
This drop of tourism was for the month of september.The government workers didn't know how long the shutdown would last.Traveling is a discretionary items,so they decided to delay it to another date.
on October 31,2013 | 06:42PM
frontman wrote:
Another shocker........................... Hello....they are finding it cheaper to go to spots of equal value for a LOT less money. Hawaii is becoming the state of hidden charges. Hotel 160.00..............after all taxes added on check in 220.00. Legal stealing, nothing less.
on October 31,2013 | 11:33AM
Morimoto wrote:
Hidden charges are not unique to Hawaii. If you've travelled you'd know that hotels everywhere are like that. So are rental cars and airline fares used to be like that before regulations required them to post the total price including fees and taxes.
on October 31,2013 | 11:37AM
CloudForest wrote:
Obama caused the shutdown and that effected the visitor count dramatically. (D) = disaster for the economy.
on October 31,2013 | 01:04PM
manoakeiki wrote:
Oh please. Look to the tea party if you want to place blame for the shutdown.
on October 31,2013 | 01:51PM
false wrote:
on October 31,2013 | 06:22PM
Maipono wrote:
The economy is slowing down, that is the real cause of the drop in tourism. With Obamacare looming over Americans like a thick black cloud, the consumer is unsure how they will be penalized, or how much more they will have to pay for health insurance, they pull back on spending. Tourism is a discretionary expenditure, and right now people are feeling that they have a lot less cash and they are worried about their jobs. We need new leadership, and it starts right here at home folks, dump all of our politicians, starting with the most liberal politician in the country, the Guv, Abercrombie.
on October 31,2013 | 02:23PM
Shotzy wrote:
This is a sign of worst things to come. Our economy [US] is a direct result of lack of confidence in the current Obama regime. His socialistic ideological agenda to strip wealthy individuals and corporations is coming home to roost. The ONLY reason our economy hasn't completely flat lined is the governments continuing quantitative easing of 80 billion dollars a month being pumped into the stock market. When this ends, and it will, you will really see what Obama's economy looks like.
on November 1,2013 | 06:38AM
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