Visitors to Hawaii went over the 10 million benchmark, but spending growth in 2019 didn’t keep up with the pace of arrivals growth, according to statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
As many as 10,424,995 visitors came to Hawaii in 2019, an increase of more than 5% from 2018 when 9,888,845 tourists visited Hawaii. At the same time, visitor spending growth only rose about 1% to nearly $17.8 billion. Average daily spending by visitors across the state in 2019 fell almost 2% to $195 per person.
The year-end increases were based on visitor arrivals and spending gains from Hawaii’s core U.S. West market, its second-largest U.S. East market, and its top international market of Japan. Year-end arrivals and spending fell from Canada and the market called “all others,” which includes all foreign markets outside of Japan and Canada.
Visitor arrivals growth outpaced growth in air seats, which rose nearly 3% to just over 13.6 million seats. Air seats from the U.S. West and U.S. East grew, while they dropped from Canada, Oceania, Japan and other Asia, which includes all Asian markets outside of Japan.
Year-end transpacific air seat capacity was mixed across the islands, as were arrivals and spending results. Kahului airport saw a 10% increase in air seats, Honolulu got a nearly 2% rise and Lihue was about flat. However, fewer air seats served Hilo, which was down nearly 12%, and Kona, which fell nearly 2%.
Oahu and Maui achieved year-end increases in arrivals and spending. Hawaii island experienced an increase in arrivals, but a dip in spending. Kauai finished the year with lower visitor arrivals and spending.
Solid December results statewide contributed to year-end gains. December arrivals rose 6% to 954,289, and visitor spending increased nearly 11% to nearly $1.8 billion. Average daily visitor spending in December rose nearly 5% to $198 per person.