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Visitor expenditures similar to last year; arrivals up


Visitors who came to Hawaii in July 2013 spent a total of $1.3 billion, similar to last year, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Total arrivals, which have shown consecutive growth since September 2011, rose 4.6 percent to 757,969 visitors.

However, these visitors spent less on a daily basis (-3.7% to $185 per person) and their average length of stay was slightly shorter (9.36 days, from 9.49 days) compared to July 2012. In the first seven months of 2013, total visitor expenditures reached $8.7 billion (+5.7%) and total arrivals rose 5.5 percent to 4,913,837 visitors.

Arrivals by air from U.S. West increased 3.8 percent to 310,710 visitors in July 2013, the 20th month of continuous growth. Lower daily spending (-2.7% to $146 per person) netted $437.8 million in total U.S. West expenditures, about the same as July 2012.

Likewise, there was virtually no growth in total U.S. East visitor expenditures ($353.2 million) versus last July, as increased arrivals (+5.3% to 177,162 visitors) were offset by lower daily spending.

After 23 months of consecutive increases, arrivals from Japan dropped 2.9 percent to 128,363 visitors in July 2013. These visitors spent significantly less on a daily basis (-16.5% to $250 per person), resulting in a 19.1 percent decline in total visitor expenditures to $197.8 million.

In contrast, the Canadian market saw a 10.6 percent growth in total visitor expenditures (to $51.6 million), boosted by growth in arrivals (+3.3% to 26,237 visitors) and higher daily spending.

Arrivals from All Other markets increased 15.4 percent to 115,016 visitors, led by double-digit growth from Oceania (+37.4%) and Other Asia (+19.9%) compared to July 2012. Combined total expenditures from All Other visitors increased 12.6 percent to $275.1 million.

One out-of-state cruise ship came to Hawaii in July 2013 compared to zero out-of-state cruise ships in July 2012. Total cruise visitors (by cruise ship and by air) rose 3.1 percent.

Total visitor expenditures declined on Oahu (-11%) but increased on Maui (+13.6%), Kauai (+10.1%) and Hawaii Island (+9.4%) compared to July 2012.

Total air seats in July 2013 increased 3.2 percent to 995,526 seats, with double-digit growth in scheduled seats from Oceania (+42.5%) and Other Asia (+12.5%).

Year-to-date 2013

Total expenditures by U.S. West (+10.4% to $2.9 billion), U.S. East (+7.1% to $2.3 billion) and Canadian (+1.2% to $658.4 million) visitors were higher, while total spending by Japanese visitors declined (-7.8% to $1.4 billion).

Arrivals from Oceania (+34.1%), Other Asia (+21.8%), Europe (+11.6%) and Latin America (+23.9%) rose significantly, while arrivals from U.S. West (+6.8%), U.S. East (+1.7%), Japan (+3.8%) and Canada (+3.2%) showed moderate growth.

Maui (+13.3% to $2.3 billion; +4.1% to 1,426,303 visitors), Hawaii Island (+20.1% to $1.2 billion; +5.2% to 889,347 visitors) and Kauai (+14.7% to $867.9 million; +5.4% to 670,289 visitors) showed growth in total visitor expenditures and arrivals compared to the first seven months of 2012.

Total visitor spending on Oahu decreased (-2.5% to $4.3 billion) despite growth in arrivals (+6.8% to 3,007,327 visitors), which was offset by lower daily spending and shorter length of stay.

Other Highlights

Daily spending by Japanese visitors has been lower in six out of the seven months so far in 2013. A weaker yen has been a factor in these decreases.

For the first seven months of 2013, daily spending on shopping by Japanese visitors declined 18.7 percent (to $80 per person) and spending on lodging (-5.1% to $107), food and beverage (-1% to $51) and entertainment and recreation (-7.3% to $19) were also lower compared to year-to-date 2012.

The Oceania market showed exceptional growth in arrivals and visitor days compared to July 2012. Arrivals from Australia climbed 34.2 percent to 25,978 visitors. A longer length of stay (9.53 days, from 8.39 days) also contributed to a 52.4 percent growth in Australian visitor days.

Arrivals from New Zealand surged 56.7 percent to 5,063 visitors in July 2013. However, their average length of stay was shorter (9.11 days) compared to those who came in July 2012 (12.02 days).

Visitor days for New Zealand increased 18.7 percent. For the first seven months of 2013, arrivals from Australia and New Zealand showed very strong growth, 29.8 percent and 76.7 percent, respectively.

Arrivals (+24.8% to 17,001 visitors) and visitor days (+29.8%) from Korea were significantly higher compared to July 2012. Korean visitors in July 2013 stayed an average of 7.09 days, compared to 6.82 days a year ago. Arrivals from China declined 10.7 percent to 10,219 visitors in July 2013.

However, a longer length of stay (6.54 days, from 5.24 days) contributed to an 11.5 percent growth in visitor days. Supported by new service from Hawaiian Airlines, there were five times more visitors from Taiwan in July 2013 compared to a year ago.

Year-to-date, 2013 showed significantly more visitors from Korea (+20.8%), China (+18.6%) and Taiwan (+95.9%) compared to the same period last year.

Contributing to the growth in U.S. West arrivals in July 2013 was a 2.7 percent increase from the Pacific region: California (+3% to 204,324), Washington (+1.5% to 31.388) and Oregon (+1.2% to 13,298).

Arrivals from the Mountain region rose 12.3 percent from July 2012, with increases from Arizona (+20.9% to 18,639), Colorado (+7.5% to 11,076) and Nevada (+4.1% to 9,043). The first seven months of 2013 saw more arrivals from the Pacific (+5.3%) and Mountain (+8.6%) regions compared to 2012.

Arrivals from all U.S. East regions were higher compared to July 2012, except for a 2.5 percent drop from the West South Central region. For the first seven months of 2013, arrivals increased from the Mid Atlantic (+10.2%), New England (+7.6%) and South Atlantic (+1.1%) regions, but declined from the East South Central (-3.8%), West South Central (-3.1%), East North Central (-1.2%) and West North Central (-1%) regions.

Significantly more visitors came for meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI) (+38.5% to 39,607) compared to July 2012. Convention visitors in July 2013 increased 55.3 percent (to 27,245 visitors), driven by strong growth from the U.S. Contributing to this increase was the American Psychological Association Convention (Jul. 31 – Aug. 4, 2013), which brought nearly 8,000 delegates to the islands. Total incentive travelers rose 33.4 percent (to 8,668 visitors).

Japanese incentive visitors increased 60.5 percent compared to July 2012 to 5,200 visitors. For the first seven months of 2013, total MCI visitors increased 13.2 percent, as strong growth in incentive travel (+57.9%) compensated for fewer corporate meeting (-8.5%) visitors.

More visitors came to get married (+10.3% to 11,460 visitors) in July 2013, led by increases from Japan (+10.8% to 5,629) and U.S. West (+8.1% to 3,124). For the first seven months of 2013, 71,128 visitors came to get married, comparable to year-to-date 2012.

Total stays in condominium properties rose 10.4 percent (to 140,853 visitors) in July 2013, with growth from U.S. West (+7.6% to 74,586), U.S. East (+16.9% to 30,138), Japan (+2.8% to 14,091) and Canada (+16% to 10,175). For the first seven months of 2013, stays in condominium properties grew 7.2 percent to 884,783 visitors.

Island Highlights for July 2013

* Oahu: Total arrivals to Oahu increased 7 percent compared to July 2012 to 491,504 visitors. However, the length of stay by all visitors on Oahu was shorter (-8.4% to 7.01 days) and daily visitor spending was less (-9.2% to $186 per person) compared to July 2012. The result was an 11 percent decline in total visitor expenditures to $639.2 million. There were fewer Japanese and Chinese visitors to Oahu in July 2013, and more visitors from Australia, New Zealand, Korea and Taiwan.

* Maui: In July 2013, arrivals to Maui rose 5.8 percent to 226,113 visitors with growth from U.S. East (+8.9% to 66,676), Canada (+2.2% to 12,618) and Japan (+11.9% to 6,117). Increased daily spending (+4.1% to $200 per person) and a longer length of stay (+3.1% to 7.98 days) boosted Maui’s total visitor expenditures (+13.6%) to $360.6 million.

* Kauai: Growth in arrivals (+5.9%) and a longer length of stay (+3.9% to 7.79 days) contributed to a 10.1 percent increase in total visitor expenditures on Kauai to $135.9 million. There were more U.S. West (+6.5% to 56,505), U.S. East (+3.8% to 34,415), Canadian (+3.4% to 3,554) and Japanese (+19.6% to 2,701) visitors to Kauai than in July 2012.

* Hawaii Island: Arrivals to Hawaii Island grew 1.8 percent to 135,669 visitors in July 2013 with increases from US. East (+6.9% to 40,814) offsetting fewer visitors from U.S. West (-5.1% to 49,461) and Canada (-7.9% to 5,141). Higher daily spending (+3.5% to $179 per person) and a longer length of stay (+3.8% to 7days) led to a 9.4 percent growth in total visitor expenditures to $170.3 million.

Air Seats to Hawaii

Total air seats for July 2013 rose 3.2 percent to 995,526 seats. Total air seats increased for Honolulu (+5.8% to 706,786), but declined for Kona (-11.8% to 50,969) and Lihue (-1.2% to 56,074). Total seats for Kahului (176,241) and Hilo (5,456) were about the same compared to July 2012.

Total scheduled air seats grew 3.3 percent to 987,346 seats. International charter seats rose 3.7 percent to 3,488 seats. In contrast, domestic charter seats decreased 10.5 percent to 4,692 as a result of fewer charter flights out of Las Vegas.

Scheduled air seats from U.S. West in July 2013 rose 1.2 percent. New service from Boise, Eugene, Phoenix Mesa, Santa Maria, Spokane and Stockton; and increased service from Bellingham, Fresno, Portland, San Diego, and Seattle; offset reduced service from Denver, Las Vegas, Oakland, Phoenix, Sacramento and San Jose.

Seats from U.S. East grew 2.3 percent compared to July 2012. Increased service from Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Newark and Washington D.C., offset fewer seats out of Dallas.

Scheduled seats out of Japan were up 4.2 percent from July 2012. New service from Sapporo and increased service from Fukuoka and Nagoya offset reduced service from Narita.

Scheduled seats out of Canada in July 2013 decreased 17.2 percent as a result of reduced service from Vancouver.

Oceania air seats jumped 42.5 percent, boosted by a doubling of seats from Auckland. In addition, a route from Brisbane, which started in late November 2012, and restarted service from Melbourne in December 2012, contributed to the growth in air seats from Australia.

Scheduled seats from Other Asia rose 12.5 percent from July 2012. Reduced service caused a decline in seats from Seoul (-7.9% to 30,208). In contrast, seats out of Shanghai rose 58.2 percent (to 3,432) with the addition of one more weekly flight by China Eastern Airlines from January 2013. There were 5,703 seats out of Taiwan in July 2013.

After three years of service suspension, China Airlines resumed twice a week nonstop service to Taipei beginning in June 2013. Hawaiian Airlines began offering service to Taiwan in early July 2013.

For the first seven months of 2013, total air seats grew 8.5 percent, with increased seats to Honolulu (+9.7%), Kahului (+7.5%), Lihue (+7.5%) and Kona (+1.8%), offsetting fewer seats from Hilo (-22.6%).

There were significantly more scheduled seats from U.S. East (+17.8%), Other Asia (+26.3%) and Oceania (+49.4%) compared to the first seven months of 2012.

Scheduled seats from U.S. West (+5.8%) and Japan (+6.3%) also increased while the number of seats from Canada were about the same as year-to-date 2012.

Cruise Ship Visitors

A total of 10,091 visitors came by cruise ship or by air to board cruise ships in July 2013, up 3.1 percent. June through August is a slow season for out-of-state ships. Only one out-of-state cruise ship with 481 visitors came in July 2013, while no ships came in July 2012.

For the first seven months of 2013, a total of 169,268 visitors came by cruise ship or by air to board cruise ships, an increase of 4.4 percent from the same period last year. The Hawaii home- ported cruise ship was in dry dock in April 2013 for routine maintenance and contributed to the decline in cruise visitors who came by air through July 2013 (-5.9%).

In the first seven months of 2013, 100,422 visitors entered the islands by out-of-state cruise ships. This is 12.8 percent higher compared to 89,024 visitors in year-to-date 2012.

Mike McCartney, Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO

Hawaii’s tourism economy has done well and we are pleased with year-over-year increases in visitor expenditures and arrivals. While 2012 was a record year, 2013 arrivals are up 5.5 percent and expenditures up 5.7 percent year-to-date. Our overall economy is recovering with low unemployment and a strong state budget, which is a direct result of the collective efforts of our visitor industry and good will from our community.

Visitors from around the world continued to choose the Hawaiian Islands during the first seven months of 2013. So far this year, visitors spent an average of $41 million per day – $20 million on Oahu, $11 million in Maui County, $5 million on Hawaii Island and $4 million on Kauai, which supports more than 167,000 jobs and has provided $911 million in state tax revenue year-to-date.

In order for us to maintain this momentum, it is important that we continue to invest in our destination and we are grateful for the renewed funding from the Hawaii State Legislature to achieve this. Maintaining and increasing air access, distributing visitors across all of the Hawaiian Islands, and diversifying our market mix by increasing our Meetings, Conventions and Incentives (MCI) business, will be priorities as we look to the second half of the year. In the long term, it is important that we support the development and redevelopment of our communities to improve the infrastructure and quality of life in master planned regions, such as Ko Olina, Banyan Drive in Hilo, Wailea, Princeville and Kona.

We anticipate continued growth for our tourism economy during the second half of the year. However, we remain cognizant and continue to monitor the fragile world economy, strengthening dollar, fluctuating fuel prices and the overall rising cost of a Hawaii vacation. All of these factors will influence future visitor arrivals and spending in all markets. Therefore, we must be innovative and work harder to remain price competitive, while offering a quality and authentic visitor experience that best highlights our people, place and culture.

We must remember that it is our collective efforts that have led to our recovery. It is important for us to continue to work together to maintain this momentum and build upon the success of our visitor industry to further Hawaii’s economic recovery into 2014.

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