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State visitor statistics for October 2009


Total visitor arrivals in October 2009 decreased 1.7 percent from the same month last year to 505,676 visitors, according to preliminary statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Arrivals by air only were relatively unchanged (-0.3%) but arrivals by ship declined 39.7 percent from last October due to fewer cruise ships to the islands during the month.

The result was a 3.3 percent decrease in total visitor days compared to last October. The average length of stay by all visitors was 8.95 days, compared to 9.10 days in October 2008.

Total expenditure by air visitors for October 2009 fell 5.2 percent or $43.4 million to $792.7 million, due to lower average daily spending by these visitors ($179 per person, down from $185 per person in October 2008).

Among the top four visitor markets, arrivals by air from U.S. West increased for the sixth consecutive month, up 2.5 percent from October 2008. Arrivals from Japan also (+2.6%) increased, arrivals from Canada were stable (+0.5%) but arrivals from U.S. East (-2.9%) were lower compared to October 2008.

Total Visitors

• For the first 10 months of 2009, total visitor days for air and cruise visitors declined 5.1 percent. Total arrivals by air and cruise decreased 5.5 percent from the same period last year to 5,446,211 visitors.

• Total spending by air visitors for the first ten months of 2009 decreased $1.3 billion or 13.8 percent from year-to-date 2008, to $8.1 billion.

• Average per person per day spending by air visitors dropped to $162 per person from $178 in the first ten months of 2008.

• Total expenditures from U.S. West visitors decreased slightly (-0.8%) to $275.3 million. Total spending from U.S. East (-10.8% to $202.2 million) and Japanese (-8.6% to $150.8 million) visitors were also lower while spending from Canadian visitors increased (+3.5% to $43.6 million) compared to October 2008.

• Japanese (-10.7% to $276 per person), U.S. East (-7.1% to $180 per person) and U.S. West (-1.9% to $143 per person) visitors who came in October 2009 spent less on a daily basis, but Canadian (+1.8% to $158 per person) visitors spent more compared to October 2008.

• A greater number of visitors came to honeymoon in October 2009 (+5%) compared to the same month last year with increases from Canada (+19.8%), U.S. East (+7.1%), Japan (+4.6%) and U.S. West (+3.7%).

• Timeshare properties continued to gain popularity among visitors to the islands. More total visitors stayed in timeshare properties (+5.8%) in October 2009 than in the same month last year. Since October 2008, the total number of visitors who stayed in timeshare has increased 11 out of the past 13 months.

• Year-over-year growth in Japanese timeshare visitors for October 2009 (+88.2%) continued a trend of consecutive double digit increases since September 2008. Timeshare usage among Canadians (+16.9%), U.S. West (+3.8%) and U.S. East (+3.2%) visitors were also higher compared to October 2008.

• Fewer visitors came on a pre-paid package trip (-6.8%) than in last October with decreases from all four major markets: Canada (-18.7%), U.S. East (-9.2%), U.S. West (-1.5%) and Japan (-0.8%).

• The total number of independent travelers rose 4.5 percent compared to October 2008, mainly due to growth from Japan (+29.8%), Canada (+9.7%) and U.S. West (+3.6%).

Major Marketing Areas

• Arrivals from U.S. West increased 2.5 percent from last October to 202,427 visitors. Arrivals from the Pacific region, rose 3.8 percent, due to growth in visitors from Alaska (+16.6%), Oregon (+12.8%), Washington (+7.5%) and California (+1.1%). Growth in U.S. West visitors arrivals was particularly strong from cities like Portland (+13.6%), Anchorage (+11.5%) and San Francisco (+11.1%). Arrivals from the Mountain region were down 2.5 percent from October 2008.

• Air arrivals from U.S. East declined 2.9 percent to 112,509 visitors. Growth in arrivals from the West South Central (+5.2%), New England (+2.3%) and Middle Atlantic (+0.9%) regions were deeply offset by lower arrivals from the East North Central (-7.9%), West North Central (-5.7%), South Atlantic (-5.2%) and East South Central (-3.8%) regions compared to October 2008.

• The number of U.S. East visitors who came for conventions increased 15.4 percent compared to last October.

• Japanese arrivals by air rose for the second consecutive month in 2009, up 2.6 percent to 99,243 visitors.

• Besides the double digit growth in timeshare usage, more Japanese visitors in October 2009 stayed in condominium properties (+11.5%) compared to last October. First time visitors accounted for 48.4 percent of all Japanese visitors in October 2009, up 2.5 points from last October.

• A total of 22,414 Canadian visitors arrived by air in October 2009, relatively unchanged (+0.5%) from last October. Half of all Canadian visitors arrived via international flights (50.5%) and half arrived on domestic flights (49.5%).

Island Highlights

• Total visitor expenditures on Oahu in October 2009 fell 12.5 percent to $383.5 million. Total expenditures on Maui dropped slightly (-0.8%) to $202.1 million. Total visitor spending on Hawaii Island were similar (-0.4%) to last October at $102.6 million; while total visitor spending on Kauai increased 18.4 percent to $97.1 million.

• About the same number of total visitors went to Oahu (+0.1%) as part of their trip to the state, but total visitor arrivals decreased on all neighbor islands compared to October 2008.

• Fewer visitors went to multiple islands (-7.3%) in October 2009, particularly those from U.S. East (-8.3%), U.S. West (-1.9%) and Japan (-1.8%). The number of total visitors who stayed exclusively on O‘ahu (+2.4%), Maui (+2.3%) or Kauai (+1.9%) were higher compared to October 2008

• U.S. West arrivals to the four larger islands in October 2009 increased from a year ago. The decline in arrivals from U.S. East were less on Kauai and Oahu than on Hawaii Island and Maui.

• Japanese arrivals to Oahu (+4%) and Hawaii Island (+2.7%) increased but arrivals to Maui (-22%) and Kauai (-8.9%) declined in October 2009.

• Arrivals from Canada decreased on Oahu (-1.5%) but were higher on all neighbor islands compared to October 2008.

• Year-to-date, only U.S. West visitors to Oahu showed growth (+.7%) in arrivals. Among visitors to the four larger islands, Oahu also showed the smallest decline for U.S. East and Japanese visitors. For Canadians, the smallest decline in visitation occurred on Maui.

Total Air Seats to Hawaii

• Total air seats to Hawaii for October 2009 declined 1.2 percent from last October due to a decline in domestic seats (-2.3%). There were fewer seats from U.S. West (-1.2%) and seat capacity from U.S. East (-9.1%) also decreased. These declines were partially offset by the availability of more seats on international routes (+1.5%). Seats from Other Asia rose 34.9 percent, mainly due to additional flights out of Seoul Korea and the use of larger capacity airplanes. There were also more seats from Japan (+2.9%), Canada (+1.1%) compared to October 2008.

• For the first 10 months of 2009, total air seats to Hawai‘i declined 6.3 percent as a result of fewer seats from Canada (-24.2%), U.S. East (-17.1%), Australia/New Zealand (-12.7%), U.S. West (-4.9%) and Japan (-1.1%) which were partially offset by more seats from Other Asia (+19.6%).

Cruise Ship Visitors

• A total of 21,323 visitors came by cruise ships or arrived by air to board a Hawaii home-ported cruise ship in October 2009, down 25.9 percent from the same month last year. Except for increases in April (+3.5%), July (+17.7%) and September of 2009 (+4.4%), total cruise visitors had been declining 20 out of the last 23 months since December 2007.

• Five out-of-state cruise ships came to the islands in October 2009 with 10,844 visitors, compared to nine out-of-state ships which brought 17,983 visitors last October. This resulted in a 39.7 percent decline in arrivals by ship in October 2009.

• The number of cruise visitors who came by air to board cruise ships in the islands also declined (-2.9%) from October 2008.

• Year-to-date 2009, a total of 177,978 visitors came by cruise ship or by air to board cruise ships, 20.1 percent lower compared to the same period last year. Visitor days for all cruise visitors fell 21.2 percent.

• In the first 10 months of 2009, 74,460 visitors arrived on 42 out-of-state cruise ships. This was down 11.8 percent compared to 84,447 visitors aboard 54 cruise ships that came to the state in the first ten months of 2008. Total visitor days for those who came by cruise ships decreased 13.1 percent compared to year-to-date 2008.

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