Hawaii tourism kicked off the new year with solid gains in visitor arrivals and spending, which rose to the highest statewide total for visitor spending ever recorded for a single month in Hawaii’s history.
January arrivals grew just over 5 percent to 796,483 visitors, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA). Visitors spent $1.69 billion in January, up nearly 5 percent from the prior year. On any given day in January, there were 259,481 visitors, up just over 4 percent from the same month last year.
“A benefit of tourism’s success in January is that $197 million in state tax revenue was generated, which is also a record monthly total. This is tax revenue that is strengthening our state at the government level, while the increased visitor spending is helping to support businesses and jobs for residents in communities throughout the state,” HTA president and CEO George Szigeti said in a statement.
Arrivals and spending grew in three of the state’s top markets, the U.S. West, the U.S. East and Canada. However, arrivals and spending from Japan, Hawaii’s top international market, fell.
It was a blockbuster month for Hawaii island, Maui and Kauai, which saw arrivals grow and spending rise to the to the highest monthly totals ever recorded. While January arrivals rose on Oahu, spending fell.
A nearly 10 percent increase in air seats to more than 1.1 million contributed to the gains. Seats were added to the U.S. East, U.S. West, Canada, Oceania and Asian countries outside of Japan. The added seat inventory offset a decline in seats from Japan.
“Heightened travel demand leads to increased air access, and carriers are showing their confidence in
Hawaii’s ability to attract travel consumers from the U.S. mainland and around the world,” Szigeti said.