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Visitor arrivals to Hawaii and visitor spending declined in January

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Visitor arrivals at the start of the year continued the trend of weakness since the August 2023 Maui wildfires, which contributed to a dampening of visitor arrivals in five of the last six months and caused visitor spending to decline in all six months.

In January 2024, some 763,480 visitors came to the Hawaiian islands, down 3.6% from January 2023, according to preliminary statistics from the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT).

Likewise, total visitor spending, without taking inflation into account, declined to $1.81 billion, a drop of 4.5% from January 2023.

When compared to pre-pandemic 2019 levels, January visitor arrivals were only recovered to 93.4%; however, total visitor spending during the same period was up 11.9%.

On any given day in Hawaii there were 242,700 visitors in January, down 6.5% from the 259,514 that were here in January 2023 and a decline of 7.4% from 262,235 visitors in January 2019.

The average length of stay by all visitors to Hawaii in January was 9.85 days, a 3% drop from 10.16 days in January 2023 and a .9% drop from 9.94 days in January 2019.

In January, 4,884 transpacific flights with 1,100,758 seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands. The flights were down 6.3% from January 2023 and the seats were down 4.8%. Flights were 5.3% lower than in January 2019 and there were 2.9% fewer seats.

Results varied across the islands. Visitor arrivals in January rose 3.4% year-over-year to 450,503 on Oahu, but spending was down 2.3% to $734 million. Arrivals on Maui decreased 23.5% year-over-year to 175,005, while spending fell 19.4% to $503.8 million. During the same period, visitors to Molokai also fell 12.4 % to 3,796; however, spending rose 23.8% to $5.6 million. Arrivals to Lanai fell 32.4% to 3,705, while spending declined 12.9% to $10.7 million.

Arrivals on Kauai increased .9% to 106,048 and spending rose 5.4% to $247.3 million. On Hawaii island, visitors dropped 3.6% to 143,033, while spending climbed 15.1% to $299.4 million. Visitors that came to Hawaii for a cruise increased 7.1% from a year ago to 17,836. Spending by cruise ship visitors rose 22.9% year-over-year to $8.4 million.

Most of the arrivals came to Hawaii by air and most were from Hawaii’s top U.S. West and U.S. East markets.

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