Hawaii Tourism: Visitors spent $17.82 billion in 2018

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Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent $17.82 billion in 2018, an increase of 6.8 percent compared to 2017, according to preliminary year-end statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Spending by visitors generated $2.08 billion in state tax revenue in 2018, an increase of $133.1 million (+6.8%) from 2017.

Additionally, 217,000 jobs statewide were supported by Hawaii’s tourism industry in 2018, up 6.8 percent from 2017.

In 2018, visitor spending increased from the U.S. West (+9.1% to $6.64 billion), U.S. East (+8.1% to $4.57 billion), Japan (+2.1% to $2.31 billion), Canada (+5.6% to $1.10 billion) and All Other International Markets (+4.5% to $3.17 billion) compared to 2017.

On a statewide level, average daily visitor spending was up (+1.4% to $201 per person) in 2018 versus 2017. Visitors from Canada (+4.0%), Japan (+3.0%), U.S. East (+1.5%), U.S. West (+1.2%) and All Other International Markets (+1.1%) spent more per day in 2018 versus 2017.

A total of 9,954,548 visitors came to Hawaii in 2018, an increase of 5.9 percent from the 9,404,346 visitors in 2017. Total visitor days rose 5.3 percent in 2018. On average, there were 242,629 visitors in the Hawaiian Islands on any given day in 2018, up 5.3 percent from 2017.

Arrivals by air service increased to 9,827,132 visitors (+5.9%) in 2018, with growth from U.S. West (+9.6%), U.S. East (+7.9%), Canada (+2.7%) and All Other International Markets (+2.0%) offsetting a slight decrease from Japan (-1.0%). Arrivals by cruise ships rose slightly to 127,415 visitors (+0.5%) compared to 2017.

Oahu, Maui and Kauai all recorded increases in both visitor spending and visitor arrivals in 2018 versus 2017. Visitor spending on Oahu rose to $8.16 billion (+7.2%) with visitor arrivals of 5,935,007 (+4.3%). Maui visitor spending totaled $5.07 billion (+8.3%) with visitor arrivals of 2,914,122 (+6.2%). Kauai finished the year with visitor spending of $2.00 billion (+10.2%) and visitor arrivals of 1,377,777 (+7.6%). Visitor spending on the island of Hawaii was flat in 2018 at $2.40 billion (+0.2%), while visitor arrivals decreased to 1,718,181 (-2.5%) compared to 2017.

A total of 13,248,069 trans-Pacific air seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands in 2018, up 8.3 percent from 2017. Growth in air seat capacity from U.S. West (+10.7%), Oceania (+10.3%), U.S. East (+8.9%), Canada (+5.6%) and Japan (+2.7%) offset fewer air seats from Other Asia markets (-6.5%).

In December 2018, visitor spending declined to $1.61 billion (-3.5%) year-over-year. Total visitor days (+1.8%) and arrivals increased to 910,060 (+3.4%) but the average daily spending of visitors declined to $190 per person (-5.2%) in December 2018 compared to December 2017.

Other Highlights:

U.S. West: In 2018, visitor arrivals increased from both the Mountain (+11.8%) and Pacific (+9.3%) regions versus 2017. Daily visitor spending averaged $176 per person (+1.2%) in 2018. Lodging expenses were higher while food and beverage, transportation, shopping, and entertainment and recreation expenses were about the same. There was moderate growth in condominium (+7.9%), hotel (+7.4%) and timeshare (+2.6%) stays, as well as strong growth in stays in rental homes (+22.5%) and bed and breakfast properties (+17.6%) in 2018.

In December 2018, visitor spending increased (+2.6% to $629.2 million) year-over-year. Visitor arrivals increased (+8.0% to 389,994) but average daily spending was lower at $174 per person (-3.2%).

U.S. East: Visitor arrivals were up from every region in 2018 highlighted by growth from the two largest regions, East North Central (+8.9%) and South Atlantic (+8.7%), compared to 2017. Average daily spending was higher at $213 per person (+1.5%) in 2018. Lodging expenses were higher, while food and beverage, transportation, shopping, and entertainment and recreation expenses were about the same. Stays increased in condominiums (+10.9%), hotels (+4.6%) and timeshares (+1.6%), and there was considerable growth in rental home stays (+25.1%) in 2018.

In December 2018, visitor spending was flat at $431.5 million (-0.4%) year-over-year. Visitor arrivals grew to 200,505 (+4.2%), but average daily spending decreased to $208 per person (-4.0%).

Japan: Visitors spent more on a daily basis at $247 per person (+3.0%) in 2018 compared to 2017. Lodging expenses increased while food and beverage, shopping, and entertainment and recreation expenses declined. Fewer visitors stayed in timeshares (-9.2%) and in hotels (-0.6%). While stays in rental homes at 8,737 (+44.5%) and in bed and breakfasts at 3,828 (+38.6%) comprised small segments of the total visitor stays in Hawaii, usage of these properties grew considerably in 2018.

Visitor spending rose in December 2018 (+4.8% to $185.6 million) compared to December 2017, boosted by the growth in visitor arrivals (+4.7% to 131,009) and higher average daily spending of $237 per person (+1.5%).

Canada: Average daily spending increased to $167 per person (+4.0%) in 2018 compared to 2017. Visitor expenditures increased for lodging, food and beverage, and transportation, remained similar for shopping, and declined for entertainment and recreation. Visitor stays decreased in hotels (-0.6%) and timeshares (-4.3%) but increased in condominiums (+0.8%) and rental homes (+27.2%) in 2018.

Visitor spending decreased in December 2018 (-1.0% to $135.2 million) as a result of fewer visitor arrivals (-2.2% to 68,382) compared to December 2017. Average daily spending was higher at $155 per person (+2.2%).

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