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Hawaii Tourism: January visitor spending down 3.8%


Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $1.62 billion in January 2019, a decrease of 3.8 percent compared to January 2018, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

In January, visitor spending increased from the U.S. East (+2.4% to $461.6 million) but declined from U.S. West (-5.4% to $557.8 million), Japan (-6.5% to $179.4 million), Canada (-2.1% to $167.6 million) and All Other International Markets (-9.4% to $254.4 million) compared to a year ago.

On a statewide level, average daily visitor spending was down (-5.3% to $199 per person) in January year-over-year. Visitors from U.S. East (+1.0%) spent more per day while visitors from Japan (-11.3%), U.S. West (-5.4%), Canada (-2.3%) and All Other International Markets (-14%) spent less.

Total visitor arrivals to Hawaii grew 3.0 percent to 820,621 visitors in January, with total visitor days1 also increasing (+1.6%) versus a year ago. Arrivals by air service (+3.2% to 809,098) increased, while arrivals by cruise ships (-5.9% to 11,523) declined.

Arrivals by air service realized growth from Japan (+5.7%), U.S. West (+4.5%), U.S. East (+2.4%) and All Other International Markets (+0.7%), which offset a slight decrease from Canada (-1.0%). The average daily census2 of total visitors in the Hawaiian Islands on any given day in January was 263,679, up 1.6 percent compared to January of last year.

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Among the four larger islands, only Oahu recorded increases in both visitor spending (+6.7% to $706.4 million) and visitor arrivals (+6.8% to 491,922) in January versus a year ago. Visitor spending on Maui decreased (-13.8% to $472.6 million) despite growth in visitor arrivals (+1.2% to 233,320). The island of Hawaii recorded declines in both visitor spending (-5.5% to $253.4 million) and visitor arrivals (-6.5% to 148,126), as did Kauai with its visitor spending (-7.8% to $176.4 million) and visitor arrivals (-2.9% to 106,064) in January year over year.

A total of 1,134,182 trans-Pacific air seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands in January, up slightly (+1.0%) from a year ago. Growth in air seats from Canada (+10.9%), Japan (+5.9%) and U.S. West (+1.5%) offset declines from Other Asia markets (-20.2%) and U.S. East (-2.9%). Air seat capacity from Oceania (-0.2%) was flat compared to January 2018.

Other Highlights:

• U.S. West: Visitor arrivals from the Pacific region increased 7.3 percent in January compared to a year ago, with more visitors from Washington (+9.2%), Oregon (+9.0%) and California (+6.9%). Arrivals from the Mountain region in January were up slightly (+0.6%). Average daily visitor spending dropped to $180 per person (-5.4%) in January year-over-year, which was largely due to a decrease in lodging and food and beverage expenses.

• U.S. East: Growth in visitor arrivals from the East South Central (+12.6%), South Atlantic (+5.4%), West North Central (+5.1%) and West South Central (+4.4%) regions offset fewer visitors from the New England (-4.5%) and East North Central (-2.0%) regions in January versus last year. Average daily visitor spending rose slightly to $217 per person (+1.0%).

• Japan: There was moderate growth in hotel stays (+1.8%) along with strong growth in timeshare (+18.1%) and condominium (+18.0%) stays in January compared to a year ago. Average daily visitor spending declined to $238 per person (-11.3%) in January, mostly due to decreased spending on lodging.

• Canada: In January, visitor stays decreased in hotels (-5.9%) and condominiums (-2.2%) but increased in rental homes (+14.8%) and timeshares (+4.1%) compared to last January. Average daily visitor spending dropped to $172 per person (-2.3%) in January, due to lower lodging expenses.

• MCI: A total of 59,266 visitors came to the Hawaiian Islands for meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI) in January, an increase of 10.5 percent from a year ago. More visitors came to attend corporate meetings (+22.1%) and conventions (+13.4%) but fewer traveled on incentive trips (-3.6%).

[1] Aggregate number of days stayed by all visitors.
[2] Average daily census is the average number of visitors present on a single day.

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Chief Assignment Editor

Chief Assignment editor is Oleg Siziakov

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