Hawaii’s visitor industry started 2016 off strong with a record number of January arrivals and small growth in visitor spending.
Some 720,997 visitors traveled to the Hawaiian islands last month, up 6.2 percent compared with the same month last year, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. It was the 11th consecutive month that total visitor arrivals to the state have exceeded previous monthly records.
Visitors spent $40.8 million more in January than a year ago, with total visitor spending for the month rising 2.9 percent to $1.5 billion. Visitor expenditures increased from the U.S. West, U.S. East, and all international markets except Canada and Japan. On average, visitors spent $196 a day, which was flat from January 2015.
“The best January ever in terms of total visitor arrivals pumped $1.5 billion into our economy and generated $155.6 million in state tax revenue to support services and programs all of our communities need,” said George Szigeti, HTA president and CEO.
Growth in arrivals from the U.S. West, U.S. East, cruise ships, Japan, and from all other international markets like Europe and Latin America, offset fewer visitors from Canada. With the exception of Canadian visitors, the average length of stay by visitors from most markets was shorter than in January 2015. However, about 239,844 visitors were in the islands on any given day with the average daily census and total visitor days increasing by 2.9 percent.
Hawaii island and Maui saw growth in visitor arrivals and spending. Hawaii’s busiest tourist destination, Oahu, saw arrivals increase by 8.2 percent; however, visitor spending fell .2 percent. Kauai experienced a 2.7 percent drop in arrivals, but saw spending nudge up .6 percent.
There were 1,021,988 total air seats to the Hawaiian islands last month, up 2.1 percent from January 2015. Most of the seat growth can from Asian countries outside of Japan. Growth in Canada was flat and rose single digits from the U.S. East and U.S. West. All of these markets offset a 6.9 percent drop in seats from Japan.