Categorized | Business

Visitor spending, arrivals down in March


Total expenditures by visitors who came to Hawaii in March 2014 fell 3.5 percent compared to last March to $1.2 billion, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Total arrivals declined 5.2 percent to 728,814 visitors, offsetting increased average daily visitor spending (+1.8% to $189 per person).

Arrivals by air from U.S. West visitors dropped 9.2 percent to 268,236 visitors. A change in the Easter/spring break holiday to April in 2014 from March in 2013 caused some shift in arrivals and contributed to this decline.

Combined with lower daily visitor spending (-6.6% to $156 per person), U.S. West visitor expenditures decreased 14 percent to $378.9 million in March 2014. U.S. West visitor expenditures and arrivals have shown year-over-year losses since August 2013.

While U.S. East arrivals of 165,745 visitors (+0.2%) were comparable to March 2013, higher daily spending (+6.2% to $199 per person) led to a 7.5 percent growth in U.S. East visitor expenditures to $317.4 million.

Total expenditures by Japanese visitors of $204.4 million (-0.6%) was about the same as March 2013. Growth in arrivals (+2% to 130,565 visitors) was offset by small decreases in daily spending (-1.6% to $262 per person) and length of stay.

Canadian visitors spent a total of $136.2 million in March 2014, down 5.9 percent from a year ago. Arrivals of 74,054 visitors (-0.8%) was similar to March 2013, while daily spending declined 4.2 percent to $147 per person.

Arrivals from All Other markets decreased 4.5 percent to 79,622 visitors. However, higher daily spending (+18.3% to $264 per person) contributed to a 4.6 percent growth in expenditures from All Other visitors to $190.9 million. Arrivals by cruise ships fell 52.7 percent to 10,592 visitors in March 2014.

There were fewer visitors to the four larger Hawaiian Islands compared to March 2013. Visitor expenditures increased on Maui (+5.7%) and Hawaii Island (+4.9%), but declined on Oahu (-9.5%) and Kauai (-4.3%).

There were 982,885 total air seats to Hawaii in March 2014, up 1.5 percent from last March. Scheduled seats from Other Asia (+10.2%), Japan (+9.5%), Canada (+6.6%) and U.S. East (+3.1%) increased but scheduled seats from Oceania (-5.8%) declined.

Year-to-date 2014:

For the first quarter of 2014, total visitor expenditures fell 3.1 percent to $3.8 billion and total arrivals dropped 3.2 percent to 2,058,207 visitors. Arrivals by air from U.S. West (-7.1%) and U.S. East (-1.5%) declined, while arrivals from Japan (+3.1%), Canada (+1.5%), Other Asia (+13.1%) and Oceania (+5.1%) increased. Total visitor expenditures were higher on Kauai (+1.4%), declined on Oahu (-5%) and Maui (-2.2%), and was about the same for Hawaii Island (+0.7%) compared to year-to-date 2013.

Other Highlights:

· For U.S. West, arrivals from the Pacific region decreased 10.6 percent from March 2013. There were fewer visitors from California (-12.9%), particularly from the Los Angeles (-10.9%), San Diego (-6%), San Francisco (-15.8%) and San Jose (-10.2%) metro areas. Arrivals from Washington (-9.5%), Oregon (-1.1%) and Alaska (-4.3%) were also lower. Arrivals from the Mountain region dropped 1.9 percent with fewer visitors from Arizona (-3.5%), Utah (-10.8%) and Nevada (-12.3%) offsetting growth in visitors from Colorado (+8.8%) and Idaho (+6.3%). One cause of the decline in U.S. West visitors was the shift in the Easter/spring break holiday. This was evident with more visitors in the younger age range and more vacation/pleasure visitors in March 2013 compared to March 2014. The first quarter of 2014 saw declines in arrivals from the Pacific and Mountain regions of 7.8 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively (see Visitor Highlights: Visitor Arrivals by U.S. Region on the HTA website).

· For U.S. East, there was growth in arrivals from the West South Central (+8.8%), West North Central (+8.7%), East South Central (+8.6%), New England (+2.9%) and East North Central (+1.3%) regions compared to March 2013. In contrast, the Mid-Atlantic region showed an 18.7 percent loss in arrivals. Reduced air out of New York JFK was a factor in this decline. For the first quarter of 2014, more visitors came from the West North Central (+4%), West South Central (+1.8%) and East South Central (+1.1%) regions compared to the same quarter last year.

· Daily spending by Japanese visitors have declined in 14 out of the last 15 months. For the first quarter of 2014, daily spending on shopping by Japanese visitors decreased 6.8 percent. Spending on lodging (-8.3% to $107) and food and beverage (-4.7% to $50) were also lower compared to the first quarter of 2013 (see Visitor Highlights: Visitor Expenditures on the HTA website).

· Fewer visitors came to honeymoon (-8.6% to 35,891) than in March 2013. Growth in U.S. West honeymooners (+7.7% to 6,348) were offset by decreases from Japan (-12.8% to 14,082) and All Other markets (-15.6% to 9,583). For the first quarter of 2014, there were 122,973 honeymoon visitors in the islands, an increase of 9.8 percent from year-to-date 2013.

· A total of 44,814 visitors came for meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI) in March 2014, up 17.2 percent from last March. More visitors came for conventions (+35.6%) and corporate meetings (+13.7%) but fewer traveled on incentives (-2.4%). Contributing to the growth in conventions and corporate meeting visitors were several events held at the Hawaii Convention Center, each with more than 2,000 delegates. For the first quarter of 2014, total MCI visitors increased 1.1 percent to 151,074 visitors.

· Among U.S. West visitors, fewer stayed in condominium properties (-10.7%) compared to March 2013. Stays in hotels (-8.8%) and timeshare properties (-15.4%) were also down from a year ago. Among U.S. East visitors, more stayed in hotels (+1.2%) but fewer stayed in condominium (-3%) and timeshare properties (-3.3%) compared to last March. Significantly more Japanese visitors, stayed in condominium properties (+23.5% to 15,310) compared to March 2013, while hotel usage rose 1.2 percent (to 111,178 visitors). Stays in timeshare properties declined 8.7 percent from March 2013.

Highlights of Visitors from All Other Markets:

· Oceania MMA: The number of visitors from Oceania dropped 10.2 percent from March 2013. Arrivals from New Zealand jumped 60.6 percent to 4,125 visitors. In contrast, reduced air service contributed to a 17.6 percent decline in arrivals from Australia (to 20,236 visitors) (see Visitor Highlights: Visitor Arrivals by Country by MMA; and Research & Report: Major Market Areas on the HTA website).

· For the first quarter of 2014, arrivals from Australia decreased 3.5 percent while arrivals from New Zealand gained 89.7 percent compared to year-to-date 2013. Expenditure data for the first quarter of 2014 showed a decline in daily spending by Australian visitors (-4.4% to $252 per person) (see Visitor Highlights: Visitor Expenditures on the HTA website).

· Other Asia MMA: Arrivals from Other Asia were virtually unchanged (+0.4%) percent from last March. Supported by new air service, there were four times more visitors from Taiwan (from 615 to 2,341) in March 2014. Arrivals from Korea (-8.2% to 12,290 visitors) and China (-4.9% to 9,826 visitors) were lower compared to March 2013.

· First quarter 2014 showed gains in visitors from Korea (+9.5%), China (+2%) and Taiwan (+228.2%) compared to the same quarter last year. Daily spending by Chinese visitors in the first quarter of 2014 rose 4 percent to $411 per person and continued to be the highest among the visitor markets. Daily spending by visitors from Korea (-5% to $248 per person) decreased compared to the first quarter of 2013.

· Europe MMA: Total arrivals from the Europe MMA (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland) declined 13.1 percent to 9,758 visitors in March 2014. For the first quarter of 2014, arrivals from this MMA of 28,418 visitors (-0.6%) was about the same compared to the first quarter of 2013. Growth in arrivals from Switzerland (+11.5% to 3,346) and France (+4.5% to 4,105) were offset by fewer visitors from the United Kingdom (-8.2% to 10,278 visitors).

· Latin America MMA: Arrivals from Latin America decreased 8.5 percent to 2,093 visitors in March 2014. For the first quarter of 2014, a total of 7,389 visitors came from this market, down 4.3 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

Island Highlights for March 2014:

· Oahu: In March 2014, fewer arrivals (-2.6% to 434,174 visitors), a shorter average length of stay (-4.7% to 6.80 days) and lower daily visitor spending (-2.5% to $196 per person) resulted in a 9.5 percent decline in Oahu visitor expenditures to $577.4 million. There were more visitors to Oahu from Japan (+2.8%) but fewer from U.S. West (-8.1%) and Canada (-11.1%) than in March 2013.

· Maui: Arrivals to Maui fell 2.7 percent to 215,485 visitors in March 2014. However, higher average daily spending (+8% to $193 per person) contributed to a 5.7 percent increase in Maui visitor expenditures to $347.4 million. A 2.9 percent growth in U.S. East visitors was offset by declines from U.S. West (-4.9%), Canada (-1.5%) and Japan (-3.2%).

· Kauai: Visitor expenditures on Kauai dropped 4.3 percent to $119.6 million as a result of fewer arrivals (-3% to 92,953 to visitors) and lower daily spending (-2.4% to $165 per person). There were more visitors from U.S. East (+2.5%), Canada (+23.9%) and Japan (+14.8%) but fewer visitors from U.S. West (-8.9%) compared to March 2013.

· Hawaii Island: Although arrivals to Hawaii Island declined (-5.9% to 127,774 visitors) higher daily spending (+5.4% to $184 per person) and a longer average length of stay (+5.7% to 7.44 days), contributed to a 4.9 percent growth in visitor expenditures to $175.2 million. There were more visitors to Hawaii Island from Canada (+18.8%) but fewer from U.S. West (-12%) and Japan (-9.2%).

Air Seats to Hawaii:

· There were 982,885 total air seats to Hawaii in March 2014, which was an increase of 1.5 percent from a year ago. Total air seats for Honolulu (+0.8% to 669,890), Lihue (+0.3% to 56,164) and Hilo (-0.9% to 3,424) were about the same, while seats for Kahului increased 3.8 percent compared to March 2013.

· Scheduled air seats rose 2.3 percent to 975,254. There were significantly fewer international charter seats (-73.3% to 2,663) compared to March 2013. A number of charters from Japan came last March but did not service Hawaii in March 2014.

· Scheduled seats from U.S. West (+0.2%) were comparable to March 2013. Increased service from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle were equalized by discontinued service from Eugene, Fresno, Phoenix Mesa, Santa Maria and Stockton, and reduced service from Bellingham, Denver, Oakland, San Jose and Spokane.

· The number of seats from U.S. East rose 3.1 percent from March 2013. Flights out of Washington D.C. were reduced to once a week since October 2013 and there were also fewer seats from New York JFK. These declines were entirely offset by more seats out of Chicago and Houston, a result of a shift toward larger aircrafts used for Hawaii flights. There were also increased seats out of Dallas compared to a year ago.

· Scheduled seats out of Japan grew 9.5 percent from March 2013, boosted by increased service from Nagoya, Osaka, Narita and Fukuoka offsetting fewer seats from Sapporo.

· Scheduled seats out of Canada in March 2014 rose 6.6 percent due to more seats from Vancouver and Edmonton, offsetting fewer seats from Calgary.

· Oceania air seats declined 5.8 percent. Reduced service out of Brisbane (-43.7%), Melbourne (-20%) and Sydney (-2.3%) Australia offset a 31.6 percent growth in seats from Auckland, New Zealand compared to March 2013.

· Scheduled seats from Other Asia were up 10.2 percent from March 2013, boosted by 6,585 new seats out of Taipei and increased service out of Shanghai (+48.7%). In addition, Air China began nonstop service three times a week from Beijing to Honolulu on Jan. 20, 2014. In contrast, reduced service caused a decline in scheduled seats from Seoul (-22.8%).

Cruise Ship Visitors

· Five cruise ships came in March 2014 and brought 10,592 visitors to the islands compared to 11 ships that came in March 2013 with 22,408 visitors.

· Visitors who flew into the islands to board the Hawaii home-ported cruise ship increased 64.5 percent to 10,881 visitors. Five Saturdays in March 2014 allowed for five tours of this ship, compared to three tours in March 2013, when the ship was in dry dock for routine maintenance during the last two weeks of the month.

· The total number of visitors who came by cruise ships or by air to board cruise ships dropped 26 percent to 21,473 visitors in March 2014. Total cruise visitor days declined only 6.9 percent due to a longer average length of stay (7.98 days compared to 6.34 days in March 2013).

· In the first quarter of 2014, 44,100 visitors entered the islands aboard 25 out-of-state cruise ships. This is 33.3 percent fewer than the 66,089 visitors who came on 34 cruise ships in year-to-date 2013.

A total of 73,513 visitors came by cruise ship or by air to board cruise ships in the first quarter of 2014, down 19.7 percent from the same quarter last year.


Mike McCartney, President and CEO Hawaii Tourism Authority

As Hawaii’s tourism economy continued to level off, visitor arrivals and spending were down three percent for the first 90 days of 2014 compared to 2013.

During this period, visitors spent an average of $42.4 million per day in the Hawaiian Islands: $20 million on Oahu, $11.8 million in Maui County, $4.3 million on Kauai, $6.1 million on Hawaii Island, and $156,000 by visitors who arrived by cruise ship.

This equated to a dollar less per person per day in visitor spending and 760 fewer arrivals per day, in comparison to 2013.

Total visitor spending on Hawaii Island reached $551 million during the first quarter of 2014, which was relatively unchanged from the same period last year, despite a 5.4 percent decline in visitor arrivals.

Visitor stayed on the island longer (+6.3%) to 8.24 days than they did during the first three months of 2013 and per person per day spending remained relatively unchanged at $176.5, which contributed to the stability of overall spending on the island.

Following two record-breaking years in visitor spending and arrivals, we anticipated a slowdown in growth this year. While the outlook for the summer remains strong, we expect the fall shoulder period to be challenging, with increased competition, a strengthening U.S. dollar and increased taxes.

The HTA continues to focus on enhancing our global marketing efforts to grow our market share from international regions, as arrivals from these areas continue to increase and help to balance the declines from mature markets like the U.S. West and U.S. East.

China is becoming a major market area for Hawaii’s tourism industry with 11 weekly nonstop flights, five from Shanghai and six from Beijing. There is significant growth in visitor spending from this market as Chinese visitors continue to be the highest daily spenders at $411 per person per day, as of March 2014.

We also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the China Shanghai Film Group to film the first Chinese major motion picture in the Hawaiian Islands. This will provide our state with tremendous exposure in China, and help us to reach a vast population.

The HTA together with our global marketing partners will continue to monitor booking pace, global economic conditions and airlift to the state to sustain the strength of our tourism economy.

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