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Visitor expenditures comparable to 2012


Visitors who came to Hawaii in August 2013 spent a total of $1.2 billion, comparable to August 2012, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Total arrivals, which have shown consecutive growth since September 2011, increased 2.5 percent to 748,775 visitors.

However, the average daily visitor spending was lower (-1.7% to $189 per person) compared to August 2012. In the first eight months of 2013, total visitor expenditures reached $10 billion (+5.1%) and total arrivals rose 5.1 percent to 5,662,612 visitors.

After 20 months of continuous growth, arrivals by air from U.S. West fell 1.3 percent to 301,323 visitors in August 2013. A decline in daily visitor spending (-1.1% to $151 per person) also contributed to a 1.7 percent drop in total U.S. West visitor expenditures to $412.7 million.

In contrast, growth in arrivals (+2.4% to 146,528 visitors) and higher daily spending (+4.2% to $206 per person) bolstered total U.S. East visitor expenditures to $308 million (+8.9%).

Arrivals from Japan grew 1.8 percent to 161,731 visitors in August 2013. These visitors spent less on a daily basis (-9.7% to $243 per person), resulting in a 5.7 percent decrease in total visitor expenditures to $255.6 million.

The Canadian market saw a 5.8 percent growth in total visitor expenditures (to $49.2 million), boosted by growth in arrivals (+2.2% to 27,824 visitors) and increased daily spending.

Arrivals from All Other markets rose 16.1 percent to 109,471 visitors, led by exceptional growth from Oceania (+28.2%) and Other Asia (+50.1%). Combined total expenditures from All Other visitors grew 2.2 percent to $221.3 million.

Similar to last August, one out-of-state cruise ship came to Hawaii in August 2013. Total cruise visitors (by cruise ship and by air) increased 16.8 percent.

Among the larger Hawaiian Islands, total visitor expenditures declined on Oahu (-3.9%) but rose on Kauai (+13.2%), Hawaii Island (+10.2%) and Maui (+2.6%) compared to August 2012.

Total air seats in August 2013 increased 2.9 percent to 984,483 seats, with significant growth in scheduled seats from Oceania (+42.5%).

Year-to-date 2013

Total expenditures by U.S. West (+8.7% to $3.3 billion), U.S. East (+7.3% to $2.6 billion) and Canadian (+1.5% to $697.3 million) visitors increased, while total spending by Japanese visitors declined (-7.5% to $1.6 billion).

Arrivals from Oceania (+33.2%), Other Asia (+25.2%), Europe (+11.4%) and Latin America (+23.8%) rose considerably, while arrivals from U.S. West (+5.6%), U.S. East (+1.7%), Japan (+3.5%) and Canada (+3.1%) showed moderate growth.

Maui (+9.1% to $2.5 billion; +3.9% to 1,636,653 visitors), Hawaii Island (+18.4% to $1.3 billion; +4.4% to 1,017,628 visitors) and Kauai (+15.5% to $1.0 billion; +4.7% to 771,067 visitors) showed growth in total visitor expenditures and arrivals compared to the first eight months of 2012. Total visitor spending on Oahu decreased (-1.6% to $5 billion) despite growth in arrivals (+6.4% to 3,493,800 visitors), which was offset by lower daily spending and shorter length of stay.

Other Highlights

* Compared to 2012, daily spending by Japanese visitors has been lower in seven out of eight months in 2013, largely due to a weaker yen. For the first eight months of 2013, daily spending on shopping by Japanese visitors dropped 18.9 percent (to $76 per person). Spending on lodging (-5.2% to $105), entertainment and recreation (-6.8% to $19) were also lower compared to year-to-date 2012.

* The Oceania market showed double-digit growth in arrivals and visitor days compared to August 2012. Arrivals from Australia rose 22.2 percent to 25,180 visitors in August 2013 and visitor days increased 21.4 percent. Arrivals from New Zealand climbed 65.4 percent to 5,526 visitors in August 2013 and visitor days increased 45.4 percent. For the first eight months of 2013, arrivals from Australia rose 28.8 percent while arrivals from New Zealand jumped 74.4 percent compared to year-to-date 2012.

* Arrivals (+42.8% to 15,468 visitors) and visitor days (+32.2%) from Korea were significantly higher compared to August 2012. Arrivals from China increased 28.7 percent to 13,498 visitors in August 2013 and visitor days rose 24.3 percent. Supported by service from China Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, there were six times more visitors from Taiwan in August 2013 (4,220 visitors from 684) compared to a year ago. Year-to-date, 2013 showed considerably more visitors from Korea (+23.3%), China (+19.9%) and Taiwan (+145.5%) compared to the same period last year.

* The drop in U.S. West arrivals (-1.3%) in August 2013 were largely due to fewer visitors from the Pacific region (-1.7%): Washington (-6.7% to 33,407), Oregon (-3.4% to 14,447) and Alaska (-15.6% to 2,662). Arrivals from California (205,066 visitors) were similar to August 2012. Arrivals from the Mountain region were virtually unchanged from last August. The first eight months of 2013 saw more arrivals from the Pacific (+4.2%) and Mountain (+7.7%) regions compared to year-to-date 2012.

* U.S. East arrivals rose 2.4 percent from last August. Growth in arrivals from the Mid Atlantic (+10%) and East South Central (+2.9%) regions offset a 1.8 percent drop from the New England region. Arrivals from all other U.S. East regions were comparable to August 2012. For the first eight months of 2013, arrivals increased from the Mid Atlantic (+10.2%) and New England (+6.3%) regions, but declined from the East South Central (-3.2%), West South Central (-2.8%) and East North Central (-1.1%) regions.

* The total number of visitors who came for meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI) rose 19.4 percent to 23,200 visitors in August 2013. Much of the growth was driven by incentive visitors which nearly doubled compared to August 2012 (9,594 from 5,171). More visitors also came for conventions (+3.9% to 9,995) but fewer came for corporate meetings (-7.7% to 4,653). For the first eight months of 2013, total MCI visitors increased 13.6 percent, as strong growth in incentive travel (+59.8%) compensated for fewer corporate meeting (-8.5%) visitors.

·* Fewer visitors came to honeymoon (-10.3% to 38,502) compared to August 2012 as a result of declines from U.S. West (-10.9% to 11,317), Japan (-11.6% to 10,196), U.S. East (-6.1% to 8,999), Canada (-14.1% to 1,419) and All Other markets (-11.8% to 6,571). Through August 2013, 345,549 visitors came to honeymoon in the islands, down 3 percent from the same period last year.

* Among the top four visitor markets, hotel stays were down (U.S. West: -4.1%, U.S. East: -2.4%, Japan: -3%, Canada: -2%), while condominium usage increased (U.S. West: +3.3%, U.S. East: +13.7%, Japan: +12%, Canada: +7.3%) compared to August 2012. Year-to-date, stays in condominium properties by total air visitors grew 7.5 percent to 1,016,371 visitors.

* There was strong growth in group tour activities among Japanese (+16.7% to 36,823) and U.S. East (+18% to 4,814) visitors compared to August 2012.

Island Highlights for August 2013

* Oahu: Total arrivals to Oahu rose 4.4 percent to 486,473 visitors in August 2013. However, daily visitor spending was less (-4.6% to $198 per person) and the length of stay was shorter (-3.6% to 6.87 days) compared to August 2012. The result was a 3.9 percent drop in total visitor expenditures to $660.3 million. There were more visitors from U.S. West, Japan, Canada, Korea, China, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand to Oahu compared to last August.

* Maui: Growth in arrivals (+2.8% to 210,350) and a longer length of stay (+3% to 7.59 days) contributed to a 2.6 percent increase in total visitor expenditures on Maui to $294.5 million. More U.S. East (+6.1% to 55,373) and Japanese (+19.2% to 8,784) visitors went to Maui compared to August 2012.

* Kauai: A total of 100,778 visitors went to Kauai in August 2013, virtually unchanged from last August. A longer length of stay (+5.7% to 7.44 days) and higher daily spending (+6.8% to $167 per person) contributed to a 13.2 percent increase in total visitor expenditures on Kauai to $125.2 million. Growth in arrivals from U.S. East (+4.5% to 30,422) offset fewer visitors from Canada (-9.7% to 3,760) and Japan (-23.8% to 2,503).

* Hawaii Island: Arrivals to Hawaii Island totaled 128,281 visitors in August 2013, about the same as August 2012. Higher daily spending (+9.3% to $180 per person) and a longer length of stay (+1.7% to 6.81 days) led to a 10.2 percent growth in total visitor expenditures to $157.3 million. There were fewer visitors to Hawaii Island from U.S. West (-7% to 47,070), U.S. East (-3.9% to 32,612) and Canada (-14.4% to 5,455) but more visitors from Japan (+8.5% to 22,420).

Air Seats to Hawaii

* Total air seats for August 2013 increased 2.9 percent to 984,483 seats. Total air seats increased for Honolulu (+5.6% to 718,130), but declined for Kona (-12.6% to 48,172), Hilo (-8% to 4,620) and Kahului (-1.6% to 159,294). Total seats for Līhu‘e (54,267) were comparable to August 2012.

* Total scheduled air seats grew 3.2 percent to 967,071 seats. However, international charter seats fell 8.4 percent to 12,720 seats and domestic charter seats declined 10.5 percent to 4,692 seats.

* Scheduled air seats from U.S. West in August 2013 were about the same as August 2012. New service from Boise, Eugene, Phoenix Mesa, Santa Maria, Spokane and Stockton; and increased service from Bellingham, San Diego, and Seattle; offset reduced service from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento and San Jose.

* Seats from U.S. East rose 2.6 percent compared to August 2012. Increased service from Chicago and Houston offset fewer seats out of Washington D.C.

* Scheduled seats out of Japan were up 10.9 percent from August 2012. Recently started service from Sapporo and increased service from Nagoya, Narita and Haneda offset reduced service from Osaka.

* Scheduled seats out of Canada in July 2013 grew 1.7 percent with slightly more seats from Vancouver compared to last August.

* Oceania air seats jumped 42.5 percent, boosted by a doubling of seats from Auckland. In addition, routes from Brisbane and Melbourne, which started at the end of 2012, contributed to the growth in air seats from Australia.

* Scheduled seats from Other Asia increased 9.2 percent from August 2012. Air seat capacity out of Shanghai rose 58.2 percent (to 3,432) with the addition of one weekly flight by China Eastern Airlines from January 2013. However, reduced service caused a decline in seats from Seoul (-11.1% to 32,140). There were 6,278 seats out of Taiwan in August 2013. China Airlines resumed twice a week nonstop service to Taipei in June 2013 and Hawaiian Airlines began service in early July 2013.

* For the first eight months of 2013, total air seats grew 7.7 percent, with increased seats to Honolulu (+9.1%), Kahului (+6.3%) and Lihue (+6.5%) offsetting fewer seats from Hilo (-20.9%). Total seats to Kona (425,020) were virtually unchanged from year-to-date 2012. There were significantly more scheduled seats from U.S. East (+15.5%), Other Asia (+23.6%) and Oceania (+48.5%) compared to the first eight months of 2012. Scheduled seats from U.S. West (+4.9%) and Japan (+6.9%) also increased, while the number of seats from Canada were about the same as year-to-date 2012.

Cruise Ship Visitors

* A total of 13,063 visitors came by cruise ship or by air to board cruise ships in August 2013, up 16.8 percent. Five Saturdays in August 2013 allowed for five tours of the Hawaii home-ported cruise ship compared to four tours in August 2012.

* June through August is a slow season for out-of-state ships. Similar to a year ago, one out-of-state cruise ship with 1,898 visitors came in August 2013.

* For the first eight months of 2013, a total of 182,330 visitors came by cruise ship or by air to board cruise ships, an increase of 5.2 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 3 percent decline in cruise visitors who came by air through August 2013.

Statement by Mike McCartney, HTA president and CEO

“As we come out of the peak summer travel season, visitor arrivals and spending for the year continue to surpass 2012. While the growth in August was not as robust as in previous months, it is important to note that due to continued efforts to increase distribution statewide, we have been successful in increasing total expenditures on the neighbor islands.

“Year-to-date tourism has contributed $1.04 billion in state tax revenue, $50 million more than same period last year.

“We anticipate seeing a slowing in arrivals and expenditures as we enter the fall shoulder season. We will continue to monitor the fluctuating fuel costs, strengthening of the dollar against international currencies and other economic conditions, which have been impacting visitor length of stay.

“It is important that we recognize that the volatility of the market and competition could hinder the growth of our state’s lead economic driver and resource, which currently supports 170,000 jobs statewide, one Hawaii job for every 47 visitors.

Our visitor industry connects the Hawaiian Islands to 50 gateway cities from around the world, and we will continue to work with our airline partners to expand direct service and frequency to the Hawaiian Islands.

“Diversifying and increasing access from growing and emerging markets like Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Auckland and secondary U.S. cities help us to maintain and grow market share for Hawaii.

We want to extend a sincere mahalo to the community for their support and for playing a crucial role in our tourism industry’s success. Our people, place and culture is our competitive advantage and make the Hawaiian Islands a one-of-a-kind destination. Tourism benefits us all, and it is important that we work together to ensure its sustainability and success.”

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