Categorized | Business

Visitor expenditures up 12.7% in October


Total expenditures by visitors who came to Hawaii in October 2012 rose 12.7 percent (or +$125.5 million) compared to the previous year to $1.1 billion, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Though still strong growth, the pace was slightly slower than the first nine months of 2012 (+19.5%). Higher daily spending and an 8.6 percent growth in total arrivals (to 640,666 visitors) contributed to the increase in October 2012.

Among Hawaii’s top visitor markets, arrivals by air from U.S. West grew 9.6 percent to 255,602 visitors, and total U.S. West visitor expenditures increased 15.2 percent from October 2011 to $381.7 million. U.S. East arrivals fell 1.4 percent to 118,799 visitors in October 2012.

Despite a second consecutive month of decline in arrivals, a longer length of stay and stable daily spending ($205 per person) led to a 2 percent growth in U.S. East total visitor expenditures to $245.4 million.

Japanese arrivals rose 15.2 percent from October 2011 to 125,742 visitors, making Japan Hawaii’s second largest market over U.S. East. Higher daily spending (+4% to $329 per person) also helped to elevate total Japanese visitor expenditures (+18.8%) to $236.4 million.

Canadian arrivals dropped 4.4 percent to 28,276 visitors and daily spending was lower (-1.7% to $155 per person) compared to October 2011. Balancing these declines was a longer average length of stay (+6% to 13.06 days).

The net result was $57.4 million in total Canadian visitor expenditures for October 2012, similar to a year ago.

There continued to be growth in arrivals (+11.1% at 84,241 visitors) and total spending (+19.1% to $185.1 million) by visitors from All Other developing markets.

Visitor arrivals by cruise ships increased 28.1 percent (to 28,006 visitors) from October 2011.

Year-to-date 2012:

For the first 10 months of 2012, total visitor expenditures grew 18.9 percent to $11.8 billion, with increases from U.S. West (+11.1% to $3.8 billion), U.S. East (+9.7% to $2.9 billion), Japan (+21.4% to $2.2 billion), Canada (+9.3% to $776 million) and All Other markets (+55.6% to $2.2 billion).

For the first 10 months of 2012, total arrivals rose 9.5 percent to 6,613,948 visitors. The average daily census showed that there were 199,760 visitors in Hawaii every day, compared to 183,597 visitors in the first 10 months of 2011.

Additional Highlights

* Fewer total visitors came for Meetings, Conventions and Incentives (MCI) (-13.4% to 37,004) compared to October 2011. There was a noticeable increase in Japanese convention visitors (from 213 to 1,658 in October 2012), many who came to attend international meetings at the Hawaii Convention Center.

Year to date, there were a total of 354,016 MCI visitors, about the same as the first 10 months of 2011.

* More visitors came to get married (+9.2% to 14,556) compared to October 2011. However, year-to-date increased only 2.5 percent (to 104,700).

* Total honeymoon visitors to the islands showed double-digit growth from February through July 2012, but have slowed considerably in recent months. In October 2012, honeymoon visitors grew 0.9 percent compared to last October.

Year-to-date, total honeymoon visitor rose 10.5 percent compared to the first 10 months of 2011.

* More visitors came to see friends and relatives (+10.9% to 48,704) than last October, with growth from U.S. West (+16.9% to 28,972), U.S. East (+7.2% to 12,632) and Japan (+5.9% to 1,878).

So far in 2012, 540,312 visitors came to see friends and relatives, up 4.9 percent from a year ago.

* Total stays in condominium properties rose 9.7 percent in October 2012, with increases from U.S. West (+11.1%), Canada (+2.9%) and U.S. East (+1.5%). Among Japanese visitors, stays in timeshare properties jumped 49 percent (to 4,752 visitors) compared to October 2011.

* The total number of visitors who made their own travel arrangements (FIT) to Hawaii has grown every month since November 2011. In October 2012, total FIT visitors rose 12.6 percent from last October to 378,451.

For year-to-date 2012, total FIT visitors grew 10.1 percent to 4,123,356.

* Contributing to a higher number of U.S. West arrivals (+9.6%) in October 2012 was growth from the Pacific (+11.8%) and Mountain regions (+1%). Significantly more visitors from California (+19.5%) compensated for fewer visitors from Alaska (-25.9%) and Oregon (-3.6%).

Year-to-date, arrivals from the Pacific region rose 6.6 percent while the Mountain region grew 2.2 percent.

* Growth from the New England (+7%) and Middle Atlantic (+3.9%) continued to be buoyed by increased air service. However, lower U.S. East arrivals (-1.4%) in October 2012 was the result of decreases from East South Central (-7.9%), East North Central (-5.7%), West North Central (-4%) and South Atlantic (-1.7%) regions.

For the first 10 months of 2012, arrivals from the East North Central and West North Central regions were comparable to a year ago while arrivals from all other U.S. East regions increased.

Island Highlights:

The four larger Hawaiian Islands all reported growth in total expenditures and arrivals for October 2012. For year-to-date 2012, total visitor expenditures in each of the four larger Hawaiian Islands increased by double-digits compared to the same period last year.

* Hawaii Island: Hawaii Island led the growth in arrivals for October 2012 with a 14.1 percent increase to 112,866 visitors. This was the largest growth in arrivals since March 2012 (+13.1%).

Arrivals from all four top visitor markets increased compared to October 2011: U.S. West (+7.4% to 43,767), U.S. East (+8.8% to 28,806), Japan (+29.2% to 17,360) and Canada (+10.4% to 5,775).

Despite lower daily spending (-3% to $164 per person), total visitor expenditures on Hawaii Island increased 10.3 percent to $128.9 million in October 2012.

* For the first 10 months of 2012, total arrivals to Hawaii Island grew 8 percent to 1,184,965 visitors, of which 46.5 percent stayed there exclusively.

Total visitor expenditures increased 16.1 percent to $1.4 billion.

* Oahu: After six consecutive months of double-digit growth, arrivals to O‘hu slowed slightly in October 2012 with a 7.6 percent increase to 385,462 visitors. Growth in arrivals from Japan (+15.1% to 121,891) and U.S. West (+8.4% to 108,797) offset declines from U.S. East (-5% to 69,723) and Canada (-9.2% to 13,255).

Higher average daily spending (+5.9% to $226 per person) also contributed to an 11.7 percent growth in Oahu’s total visitor expenditures to $590.3 million.

* For the first 10 months of 2012, arrivals to Oahu grew 11.2 percent and total visitor expenditures increased 18.7 percent to $6.1 billion. Of the 4,051,692 visitors who went to Oahu during this period, 74.2 percent stayed there exclusively, while the remainder visited other islands.

* Maui: In October 2012, increased daily spending (+6.1% to $188 per person) and arrivals (+5.4% to 177,174 visitors) contributed to a 13 percent growth in Maui’s total visitor expenditures to $268.6 million. Growth in arrivals from U.S. West (+13.2% to 94,979) offset lower arrivals from Canada (-5.2% to 13,933) and Japan (-8.4% to 4,611), while U.S. East arrivals to Maui (44,518 visitors) were comparable to last October.

* Total visitor expenditures rose 19.2 percent, compared to year-to-date October 2011, to $3 billion. Of the 1,907,642 visitors to Maui (+5.6%) through October 2012, 61.9 percent stayed there exclusively.

* Kauai: Arrivals to Kauai rose 2.7 percent to 83,854 visitors in October 2012. Growth from U.S. West (+5.6% to 44,958) and Japan (+28.2% to 2,996) compensated for fewer visitors from Canada (-11% to 3,652). U.S. East arrivals (24,580 visitors) to Kauai were about the same compared to October 2011.

Higher average daily spending (+15.2% to $182 per person) contributed to an 18.5 percent increase in total visitor expenditures to $109.6 million in October 2012.

* For the first 10 months of 2012, arrivals to Kauai grew 6.8 percent to 905,168 visitors, while total visitor expenditures rose 22.6 percent to $1.2 billion. Of those who visited Kauai, 53.6 percent spent their entire trip on the island.

Air Seats to Hawaii

* Total air seats for October 2012 increased 11.3 percent compared to the same month last year to 828,932 seats. Total air seats rose for Honolulu (+12.3% to 594,458), Kahului (+9.1% to 135,150), Kona (+15.8% to 50,158) and Lihue (+7.8% to 45,974), but declined for Hilo (-43.5% to 3,192).

* Total scheduled air seats grew 11.7 percent from October 2011 to 823,091. However, total charter seats declined 27.6 percent to 5,841. There were four less charter flights out of Japan and four fewer charter flights out of Las Vegas compared to last October.

* Scheduled air seats from U.S. West in October 2012 grew 7.4 percent. Increased service from Los Angeles, San Jose, Oakland, San Diego, Sacramento and Las Vegas offset discontinued service from Orange County and reduced service from San Francisco, Portland, Anchorage, Bellingham and Denver.

* Seats from U.S. East rose 18.9 percent compared to October 2011. Daily direct service from New York City and Washington D.C., and increased service from Houston more than offset fewer seats out of Chicago.

* Scheduled seats out of Japan grew 16.5 percent from last October due to new service from Fukuoka and Sapporo and increased service from Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo-Narita.

* Oceania air seats climbed 37.8 percent from last October, boosted by additional seats from Sydney.

* Scheduled seats from Other Asia jumped 40.2 percent compared to October 2011. Increased service boosted seats from Seoul (+36.1%). Seats from Shanghai doubled compared to last October.

* For the first 10 months of 2012, total air seats grew 7.8 percent, with increased seats to Lihue (+11.4%), Honolulu (+8%), Kahului (+5%) and Kona (+6.4%). Seats to Hilo airport nearly doubled compared to the first 10 months of 2011, as daily flights from Los Angeles and weekly flights from San Francisco resumed in June 2011.

There were significantly more scheduled seats from Other Asia (+46.3%), Oceania (+30.5%), Canada (+14.9%) and Japan (+14.2%) compared to the first 10 months of 2011. Scheduled seats from U.S. West (+4.4%) also increased, while the number of seats from U.S. East was comparable to the same period last year.

Cruise Ship Visitors

* The total number of visitors who came by cruise ships or by air to board cruise ships increased 11.8 percent to 36,638 visitors in October 2012.

* Fewer visitors came by air to board cruise ships in October 2012 (-20.9%). Five Saturdays in October 2011 allowed for five tours of the Hawaii home-ported cruise ship compared to four tours in October 2012.

* A total of 13 out-of-state cruise ships came with 28,006 visitors on board, compared to 10 ships with 21,856 visitors in October 2011. Ships that came in October 2012 had shorter itineraries for their Hawaii visits compared to those in October 2011.

As a result, the length of stay (5.33 days from 7.01 days in October 2011) and cruise visitor days (-15%) declined.

* For the first 10 months of 2012, a total of 232,366 visitors came by cruise ship or by air to board cruise ships, an increase of 20.5 percent from the same period last year. Visitor days for all cruise visitors rose 9.2 percent.

* In the first 10 months of 2012, 130,263 visitors came aboard 68 out-of-state cruise ships. This is 39.1 percent higher compared to the 93,636 visitors that boarded the 53 cruise ships during the same period in 2011.

Statement by Mike McCartney, President & CEO Hawaii Tourism Authority

As a result of building stronger price positioning for Hawaii’s product offerings, visitor spending in October 2012 continued to show significant growth, generating an incremental $1.9 billion in total expenditures and $204 million in additional tax revenue for the state. These increases in spending helped to balance the slower growth in visitor arrivals in October, which can be attributed to the historic trend of yielding travel prior to a presidential election.

Distribution remains a major priority for the HTA and together with our marketing contractors and industry partners we continue to work to drive travel to the neighbor islands. Since October 2011, airlift from our international and domestic markets have increased, which has positively affected travel and spending on the four major islands.

Hawaii Island led the growth in arrivals for October 2012 (+14.1% to 112,866 visitors), the largest growth since March this year. HTA-sponsored events helping to draw visitors to the island in October included the Ironman World Championship, 10th Annual Kona Chocolate Festival and 2nd Annual Puna Chef’s and Farmers’ Culinary Festival.

Despite lower average daily spending for the month, total visitor expenditures for Hawaii Island increased by double digits (+10.3% to $128.9 million), contributing to year-to-date growth of 16 percent to $1.4 billion through October 2012.

As tourism continues to stimulate Hawaii’s economy, the HTA is optimistic that this positive momentum will continue through the rest of the year, and will lead us to exceed our aggressive 2012 statewide targets of 7.89 million total visitor arrivals and $13.9 billion in total expenditures.

We continue to further enhance our marketing efforts, especially in the international major market areas with the additional $2 million in marketing funds appropriated by the State legislature, which has helped to establish new programs and additional airlift. However, we remain vigilant in monitoring the global financial situation and are prepared to adjust our priorities and strategies if needed.

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