Categorized | Business

Visitor expenditures level off in May


Visitors who came to Hawaii in May 2013 spent a total of $1.05 billion, relatively unchanged from May 2012, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Total arrivals, which have continuously increased since November 2011, rose another 3.7 percent to 645,711 visitors in May 2013. However, compared to a year ago, visitor length of stay shortened and average daily visitor spending was lower (-1.9% to $187 per person).

In the first five months of 2013, total visitor expenditures rose 5.1 percent to $6.1 billion and total arrivals grew 5.7 percent to 3,439,087 visitors.

The trend in increased arrivals, shorter stays and lower daily spending was evident in three of the top four visitor markets.

Arrivals by air from U.S. West rose 2.3 percent to 268,120 visitors in May 2013 marking one and a half years of continuous growth, while total expenditures declined 5.1 percent to $350.9 million. Arrivals from Japan rose 4.8 percent to 111,432 visitors in May 2013, the 22nd continuous month of growth. However, Japanese visitor expenditures fell 1.1 percent to $185.5 million.

Arrivals from Canada increased 16.3 percent to 26,689 visitors while length of stay declined 5.9 percent. Total visitor expenditures by Canadian visitors grew 3.6 percent to $42.3 million.

U.S. East, on the other hand, showed a 10.1 percent growth in daily spending and an increased number of arrivals (+1.1% to 142,530), which contributed to a 10.3 percent growth in U.S. East total expenditures to $284.7 million.

While arrivals from All Other markets rose 11.9 percent from May 2012, combined total visitor expenditures fell 6.3 percent to $184.7 million. A total of 92,840 visitors from All Other markets came to the Hawaiian Islands in May 2013: Oceania (+29.1%), Other Asia (+23.4%), Europe (+6.9%) and Latin America (+23.4%).

Although arrivals by cruise ships decreased 43.2 percent from May 2012 to 4,100 visitors, total cruise visitors (by air and ship) increased 6.1 percent.

May 2013 total visitor expenditures increased on Hawaii Island but declined on Kauai, Maui and Oahu compared to a year ago.

Total air seats in May 2013 grew 6.9 percent to 857,003 seats, with significant growth in scheduled seats from U.S. East (+29.6%), Oceania (+71.5%) and Other Asia (+25.4%).

Year-to-date 2013:

Total visitor spending increased from U.S. West (+9.6% to $2 billion), U.S. East (+9.4% to $1.5 billion) and Canada (+2.5% to $573.5 million). U.S. West (+6.1%), U.S. East (+1.7%), Japan (+5.4%) and Canada (+2.4%) arrivals showed moderate gains, while arrivals from Oceania (+33.4%), Other Asia (+24.2%), Europe (+13.8%) and Latin America (+31.1%) rose by double-digits.

Oahu (+5.6% to $3 billion; +6.4% to 2,059,046 visitors); Hawaii Island (+10.8% to $816 million; +4.1% to 622,186 visitors) and Kauai (+5.8% to $594.5 million; +5.1% to 454,071 visitors) showed growth in total visitor expenditures and arrivals compared to the first five months of 2012.

Total visitor spending on Maui ($1.6 billion) was comparable to May 2012, while arrivals to this island rose 4.7 percent to 989,977 visitors.

* Arrivals from Australia (+23.2%), New Zealand (+87.9%) and Korea (+40.4%) were significantly higher compared to May 2012. Supported by increased air service, arrivals from Australia (+28.4% to 118,708), New Zealand (+96.5% to 14,468), China (+29% to 59,762) and Korea (+20.6% 69,267) rose by double-digits year-to-date through May 2013. Arrivals from Europe rose 13.8 percent (see Visitor Arrivals by Country by MMAs on the HTA website).

* Contributing to the growth in U.S. West arrivals in May 2013 were increases from the Mountain region (+4.2%): Arizona (+6% to 18,943), Utah (+15% to 9,338), Idaho (+13.5% to 3,862) and New Mexico (+8.3% to 3,112) offsetting a 7 percent drop from Colorado (to 12,542). In the Pacific Region, growth from Washington (+3.1% 35,178) offset a decline from Oregon (-2% to 15,014), while arrivals from California were unchanged (148,964 visitors). The first five months of 2013 saw more arrivals from the Pacific (+4.9%) and Mountain (+6.7%) regions compared to year-to-date 2012 (see Visitor Arrivals by U.S. regions, State by State on the HTA website).

* Growth in arrivals from the Mid Atlantic (+13.1%), New England (+10.6%) and East North Central (+4.8%) regions in May 2013 offset a 10.9 percent drop from the West South Central region. Year-to-date through May 2013, arrivals increased from the Mid Atlantic (+13.2%), New England (+9.2%) and South Atlantic (+1.7%) regions but declined from the East South Central (-4.8%), East North Central (-2.9%) and West South Central (-2.2%) regions.

* The higher daily spending from U.S. East visitors in May 2013 ($201 from $182 per person in May 2012) were from increases in entertainment, lodging and shopping expenditures.

* Daily spending by Japanese visitors have been lower in four out of five months in 2013 compared to a year ago. A weaker yen has been a factor in these decreases. Year-to-date of 2013 daily spending on shopping by Japanese visitors declined 18.2 percent (to $82 per person), offsetting increased spending on lodging and food and beverage (see Visitor Expenditures on the HTA website).

* There were more first time visitors from Canada in May 2013 (43.6%) compared to last May (41.4%).

* Incentive travelers nearly doubled to 18,041 visitors in May 2013. There was six times more Japanese incentive visitors (to 9,687) compared to May 2012, which contributed to the growth in total Japanese arrivals in May 2013. These incentive groups may have also contributed to the double-digit increase in Japanese visitors to Maui and Kauai.

* Despite sizeable events in May 2013, total convention visitors fell 40.2 percent (to 16,626 visitors) with losses mainly from U.S. West and U.S. East. In comparison, convention activities in May 2012 included a large event of nearly 13,000 delegates. In the first five months of 2013, total MCI visitors rose 11.4 percent (to 243,711) buoyed by strong growth in incentive visitors (+55% to 86,203).

* More visitors came to honeymoon (+8.3% to 52,400) in May 2013 compared to last year with increases mainly from Korea (doubled to 6,623 visitors). For the first five months of 2013, total honeymooners rose 1.8 percent to 207,354 visitors.

* Fewer visitors came to get married (-11.9% to 10,853) in May 2013 as a result of declines in all major markets. For the first five months of 2013, the number of visitors who came to get married fell 8 percent to 45,260.

* U.S. visitors staying in hotels did not increase in May 2013 (U.S. West -0.8% and U.S. East down 3.1%). More U.S. East visitors stayed in condominiums (+9.6%) and timeshare properties (+5%) along with U.S. West visitors (+4.8% for timeshares and +2.2% for condominiums).

Island Highlights for May 2013:

* Oahu: Total arrivals to Oahu rose 5.4 percent from May 2012 to 418,217 visitors, with increases from all markets except U.S. East (-1.6%). However, a shorter length of stay (-4.2% to 6.92 days) and lower daily spending (-2.3% to $197 per person) resulted in a 1.3 percent drop in total visitor expenditures to $568.9 million.

* Hawaii Island: Higher daily spending (+15.2% to $179 per person) and arrivals (+4.4% to 109,022 visitors) contributed to a 17.4 percent increase in total visitor expenditures on Hawaii Island to $125.6 million. There was growth in arrivals from U.S. East (+7.9% to 31,346), Japan (+1.7% to 14,137) and Canada (+34.7% to 5,098) which offset lower arrivals from U.S. West (-1.8% to 43,087).

* Maui: In May 2013, arrivals to Maui rose 6 percent to 182,461 visitors with growth from U.S West (+2.4% to 91,296), U.S. East (6.3% to 51,134), Canada (+8.6% to 11,976) and Japan (+33.7% to 6,937). Lower daily spending (-5.2% to $184 per person) and a shorter length of stay (-3.6% to 7.19 days) led to a 3.2 percent decline in Maui’s total visitor expenditures to $241.4 million.

* Kauai: Arrivals to Kauai grew 7.1 percent to 91,258 visitors in May 2013 with increases from the top four markets: US. West (+2.6% to 47,380), U.S. East (+7.5% to 29,108), Canada (+15.7% to 3,650) and Japan (+20.9% to 2,365). Decreases in daily spending (-11.2% to $163 per person) and length of stay (-3.5% to 7.04 days) caused an 8.2 percent drop in total visitor expenditures to $104.4 million.

Statement by Mike McCartney, President and CEO Hawaii Tourism Authority:

Visitor spending and arrivals in Hawaii continue to pace ahead of 2012 for the first five months of the year. We were pleased visitor arrivals increased nearly 4 percent in May, resulting in a 5.7 percent growth (184,559 more visitors) year-to-date.

While visitor spending leveled off in May, tourism still generated an additional $293 million (+5.1%) year-to-date, contributing an incremental $30.6 million in tax revenue for the state.

Consumers have become more cautious of their spending as the price of a Hawaii vacation continues to increase, resulting in a shorter length of stay and reductions in daily visitor spending.

In order to maintain market share, the HTA continues to work with its airline and other industry partners on developing marketing programs that stimulate interest and drive demand to all of the Hawaiian Islands.

Through these efforts, we have been able to increase visitor distribution throughout the state, which has resulted in positive arrivals to each of the major Hawaiian Islands both in May and year-to-date.

It is important that we maintain and grow the demand for the 10.7 million scheduled nonstop air seats that come to Hawaii, which equates to 954 flights per week through 20 carriers that service 54 cities.

Another priority is to reestablish Kona as an international port of entry to increase direct access to the neighbor islands.

Our people, place and culture and the aloha spirit of our residents make Hawaii a unique and thriving world-class destination. Moving forward, the HTA will continue to focus on maintaining the momentum in order to sustain the positive growth we have achieved over the past three years.

We appreciate the industry and community’s support to help us rebuild and sustain Hawaii’s tourism economy.

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