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Hawaii visitor spending, arrivals set records for April

    Tourists with their luggage gather in the makai check in lobby of the Interisland terminal before getting on their Hawaiian Air flight.

Hawaii set an April record for visitor arrivals and spending, pumping $1.17 billion into Hawaii’s economy last month, according to statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority today.

Total visitor spending last month climbed 26.8 percent, or $246.5 million more than April 2011, as more visitors came to Hawaii and spent more each day.

Daily spending by visitors in April rose 10.4 percent to $194 per person. Visitor arrivals in April increased 11.3 percent to 647,194, beating the previous April record set in 2006 when 618,230 tourists came. A 3.1 percent rise in air seats over last April contributed to the arrivals growth.

“We were pleased to see the increases in spending and arrivals throughout all of the Hawaiian Islands, providing an economic boost across the state,” said Mike McCartney, HTA president and CEO. “It is important that we continue to support efforts that help to balance airlift and room availability for the overall benefit of our state’s tourism economy.”

“The increases in airlift to the Hawaiian Islands with new routes, as well as the move to larger aircraft, were significant contributors to a robust April,” McCartney said.

All Hawaiian Islands saw growth in total visitor expenditures and arrivals for April 2012. However, Oahu experienced a 12.9 percent gain in arrivals, the largest visitor rise among the Hawaiian isles. A 30 percent increase in international arrivals fueled Oahu’s gain.

Arrivals from Hawaii’s core U.S. West market rose 3 percent to 277,809 visitors, while spending rose for the eighth straight month. Total April spending from the U.S. West increased by 13.1 percent to $401.1 million.

While U.S. East arrivals rose 1.8 percent to 122,792 visitors, spending from these visitors declined by 2 percent to $206.2 million. Arrivals from Japan, Hawaii’s top international market, rose 36.2 percent to 86,685 visitors and spending from these visitors in April jumped 45.8 percent to $153.7 million.

Arrivals from Canada rose by 3.3 percent to 45,937 and spending rose 5.5 percent to $84 million. Visitors who came to the isles to cruise rose to 30,972 in April. As many as 15 out-of-state cruise ships came to the isles this April as compared to 8 in April 2011.

“While recovery has been challenging, and the future of the global market remains unstable, we feel confident that tourism will continue in an upward swing, and are committed to working with the industry, our community and our global marketing partners to achieve our targets for the year,” McCartney said.

April’s strong visitor industry performance helped push year to date arrivals up 9.4 percent to 2.6 million visitors. Likewise, total spending during the first four months of 2012 rose 16.7 percent to $4.78 billion. Visitor performance exceeded the HTA’s visitor spending target by 10.3 percent and its arrivals target by 5.9 percent.


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