February a strong month for Hawaii tourism


HONOLULU, Hawaii – “February was a strong month for Hawaii’s visitor industry, with the bonus of leap year adding an extra day for businesses statewide to generate revenue,” said the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) President and CEO.

“February’s average daily visitor spending of $43.3 million was led by the U.S. West ($14.3 million) and U.S. East ($11.2 million) markets, which comprised nearly 60 percent of the total,” the HTA leader said, commenting on Hawaii’s visitor statistics for February 2016.

“We are maximizing the use of our marketing resources to promote the Hawaii visitor experience and connect with travelers planning their next vacation. Global competition for travel consumers is intense, and we appreciate all the support of Hawaii’s industry partners as they market the islands in selling their accommodations, products and services,” George D. Szigeti, chief of the HTA added.

Hawaii visitor spending grew 1.2 percent in February

Total spending by all visitors (by airlines and cruise ships) was $43.3 million per day in February 2016, a gain of 1.2 percent from February 2015, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. There were 218,150 total visitors in Hawaii on any given day (average daily census) representing no growth (-0.4%) from a year ago.

For visitors arriving by airlines, U.S. West average daily census (+2.1% to 82,830 visitors per day) and visitor spending (+7.3% to $14.3 million per day) increased in February 2016 compared to the year prior. U.S. East average daily census (+3.6% to 55,745 visitors per day) and visitor spending (+9% to $11.2 million per day) also rose in February year-over-year.

Japanese average daily census (-5.4% to 22,181 visitors per day) and visitor spending (-8.7% to $5.4 million per day) declined in February 2016 versus last year, as did Canadian average daily census (-14.5% to 26,754 visitors per day) and visitor spending (-27.8% to $4 million per day).

Impacting visitor volume this month was a sharp decline in arrivals by cruise ships. Only two ships visited the islands in February 2016 compared to six ships last year, a decrease of nearly 7,000 visitors. Additionally, the Hawaii home-ported cruise ship was in dry dock for refurbishment the last two weeks of February, resulting in a loss of two voyages that equates to a decline of about 4,000 visitors who would have flown to Hawaii and toured the islands.

Total air seats to the Hawaiian Islands increased in February 2016 (+7.5% to 958,771), with the daily average also up (+3.8% to 33,061 seats per day) compared to last February. Growth in scheduled air seats from U.S. West (+8.2%), U.S. East (+14.9%), Canada (+9.2%), Oceania (+3.5%), and Other Asia (+30.7%) offset a drop in air seats from Japan (-3.3%).

Year-to-Date 2016

For the first two months of 2016, the average daily census of total visitors (by airlines and cruise ships) increased (+1.3% to 229,358 visitors per day) from year-to-date 2015. Total visitor spending also increased (+2% to $2.8 billion), representing an average of $45.3 million per day versus $44.4 million per day last year.