HONOLULU, Hawaii – Since the US dollar remains strong in some of Hawaii tourism’smajor international markets, the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) is continuing to work with its global contractors to roll out innovative campaigns like airline mileage promotions and other brand partnerships to ease the cost of travel to Hawaii. And it appears these efforts are paying off – to the tune of US$1.3 billion.
Total visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands in March 2015 rose seven percent to 780,056 visitors, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Arrivals by air increased 6.6 percent to 765,358 visitors, while arrivals by cruise ships were up 38.8 percent to 14,698 visitors. Despite lower average daily spending (-2.9% to $183 per person), total visitor expenditures grew three percent to $1.3 billion due to a 6.2 percent increase in total visitor days compared to March 2014.
For the US West, arrivals by air climbed 13.3 percent to 303,827 visitors. Combined with increased daily spending (+1.3% to $161 per person), US West visitor expenditures jumped 12.1 percent to $434.2 million.
US East arrivals grew 2.6 percent to 170,013 visitors, but daily spending was down (-2.7% to $186 per person) compared to March 2014. This resulted in a 1.8 percent drop in visitor expenditures to $299.7 million.
Arrivals from Japan fell 5.7 percent to 127,400 visitors. Much lower daily spending (-14.9% to $223 per person) also contributed to a 21.7 percent decrease in visitor expenditures to $165.6 million.
Canadian arrivals grew 4.3 percent to 77,237 visitors in March 2015. Daily spending increased (+9.3% to $165 per person) and visitors stayed longer (+1.7% to 12.74 days) than last year. This led to a 15.9 percent growth in expenditures to $162.5 million.
Arrivals from All Other markets were up 15.7 percent to 86,880 visitors. Combined expenditures from All Other visitors rose 10.5 percent to $196 million.
Visitors days increased among the four larger Hawaiian Islands in comparison to March 2014: Oahu (+6%), Maui (+5.2%), Hawaii Island (+7.9%) and Kauai (+4.4%).
There were 1,046,467 total air seats to Hawaii in March 2015, up 6.5 percent from a year ago. Scheduled seats from Oceania (+25.7%), Canada (+14.1%), US West (+10.1%) and US East (+8.7%) increased, offsetting fewer seats from Japan (-7.8%) and Other Asia (-7.6%).
For the first quarter of 2015, total arrivals grew three percent to 2,120,673 visitors. However, total visitor expenditures were down 1.3 percent to $3.8 billion. Total visitor expenditures increased on Kauai (+8.1%) and Maui (+4.6%), but declined on Hawaii Island (-7.9%) and Oahu (-5.2%).