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Visitor arrivals set record for October


    Hotel guests relax at Sheraton Waikiki in this Sept. 28 photo.

Visitor arrivals set a new monthly record in October and visitor spending increased for the fifth consecutive month, according to visitor statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

In October, Hawaii welcomed 717,486 visitors, just over a 4 percent gain from October 2015. They spent $1.2 billion, a nearly 7 percent rise from October 2015. Visitor arrivals increased across all major islands and spending rose on every island, except Oahu. Monthly air seats came in at 931,243, which was flat to October 2015.

“Hawaii’s tourism industry began the fourth quarter with the best October on record, both in visitor arrivals and spending. With the peak holiday travel season upon us, the State of Hawaii is in excellent position to set new yearly records in both categories, as well as generated state tax revenue,” HTA President and CEO George Szigeti said in a statement.

Year-over-year arrivals from most major visitor markets grew, only the U.S. East was flat and Canada declined. While Canadian and U.S. East spending were flat, spending rose in all other major markets, including the U.S. West, Japan and the combined category called All Other International Markets.

“Since summer began, Hawaii has recorded five straight months of year-over-year increases in visitor spending, but what’s especially notable is that the largest percentage of growth has been achieved in September (10.4%) and October (6.8%),” Szigeti said. “Maui, Kauai and the island of Hawaii have benefited most from this surge in fall visitor spending, as they have recorded double digit increases in visitor spending for each of the past two months.”

Spending gains were strongest from Hawaii’s core U.S. West market, which saw arrivals rise nearly 7 percent percent year-over-year to 287,058 and expenditures climb nearly 13 percent year-over-year to $449.6 million.

Hawaii’s top international market, Japan, also realized a nearly 3 percent year-over-year gain in arrivals to 135,343 and a nearly 6 percent increase in year-over-year spending, which hit $192.1 million.

The U.S. East market, which was October’s third best market for arrivals was relatively flat to October 2015 with 129,020 arrivals and $257.9 million.

International arrivals, outside of Japan and Canada, rose just over 6 percent year-over-year to 117,693 and their spending increased the same amount to $257.5 million.

Arrivals from Canada declined just over 5 percent year-over-year to 27,698 visitors, whose spending at $56.8 million was similar to October 2015 results.

In October, total cruise visitors increased just over 10 percent to 31, 937 arrivals.

October’s results aided tourism performance for the first 10 months of the year. Through October, visitor arrivals grew nearly 3 percent to 7.4 million visitors and spending rose 4 percent to $12.8 billion.

Through October, arrivals from all markets have grown except Japan, which was flat, and Canada, which declined by 8.7 percent and cruisers, which fell 13.1 percent. Visitor spending through the first 10 months of the year grew hardily for all markets, expect Japan, whose rise was below 1 percent, and Canada, which experienced a 12.3 percent decline.

During the first 10 months of the year, Hawaii’s visitor industry has generated $1.37 billion in state tax revenue, an increase of $52 million over last year.

There were 10,024,301 air seats during the first 10 months of the year, which represented under 1 percent growth from the same period in 2015.

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