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Visitor spending in Hawaii surpasses 2019 levels

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                                Beachgoers participate in a yoga class with the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in the background at Waikiki beach in October 2021. Hawaii saw 735,340 visitor arrivals in November, nearly 91% of the total for the same month in 2019, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to preliminary visitor statistics released today by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
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Beachgoers participate in a yoga class with the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in the background at Waikiki beach in October 2021. Hawaii saw 735,340 visitor arrivals in November, nearly 91% of the total for the same month in 2019, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to preliminary visitor statistics released today by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

Hawaii saw 735,340 visitor arrivals in November, nearly 91% of the total for the same month in 2019, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to preliminary visitor statistics released today by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

Although fewer in number, their spending (not adjusted for inflation) increased 13.7% last month from November 2019, to $1.52 billion.

Similarly, although the visitor count through the first 11 months of 2022 was down a little more than 11% — 8,375,977 versus 9,434,232 for the same period in 2019 — visitor spending was 9% higher at $17.4 billion, DBEDT reported.

Last month’s arrivals from the U.S. West totaled 415,610, an increase of 10.8% from November 2019, DBEDT said. They spent $821.5 million, up nearly 46% from the $563.8 million spent by that segment in November 2019.

The 166,327 visitors from the U.S. East represented 10.6% growth from the November 2019 total, and their spending jumped almost 29% to $394.8 million, according to the latest statistics.

Gains in the U.S. market were offset by the continuing lag in international arrivals. DBEDT reported visitor arrivals from Japan were down almost 79% last month to 27,898, compared to 131,536 visitors in November 2019. Spending also was down: $46.3 million compared to $189.4 million in November 2019, a decline of 75.5%.

However, DBEDT Director Chris Sadayasu said in a news release that the 27,898 visitor total from Japan last month was the second-highest monthly count since the start of the pandemic, and that the total over the first 11 months of 2022 had climbed to 88.8% of the visitor count from the same period in 2019.

November’s visitors to the islands stayed an average of 9.05 days last month, up 9.1% from their average length of stay in November 2019. On any given day last month, the state hosted 221,809 tourists, a decline of a little less than 1% from November 2019.

Results varied across the major islands. Oahu saw 392,683 visitors in November, a decline of 16.2% from November 2019, while visitor spending reached $711.9 million, up 10.5%, according to DBEDT. The average daily visitor census on Oahu was 93,958.

Maui’s 228,803 visitors represented a decrease of 1.5% from the November 2019 total, while their spending increased 15.2% to $435.2 million. DBEDT reported the average daily visitor census in November as 62,204.

A total of 127,032 visitors went to Hawaii island last month, 3.6% fewer than in November 2019. But their spending increased 19.6% to $192.3 million. The average daily census was 35,491 visitors, according to DBEDT.

Kauai was the only major island to experience higher visitor arrivals last month compared to November 2019. DBEDT said the Garden Isle welcomed 106,390 visitors, up 2.5% from November 2019, and that they spent $161.7 million. The average daily census was 26,876.

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