Expenditures for Hawaii’s visitor industry have started to stabilize with a boost in spending in March and April of this year. This has helped to bring year-to-date spending on par with last year, and as a result, Hawaii’s visitor industry’s contribution in state tax revenue is also comparable to last year.
Visitor arrivals and spending from Hawaii’s core US West market have continued to increase, and it is anticipated that it will remain strong through the first half of the year. While arrivals from Japan for April 2015 were up slightly, expenditures for the month and year-to-date remain down by double-digits, as the dollar continues to strengthen against the yen.
Total visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands in April 2015 increased 2.3 percent to 677,754 visitors, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Arrivals by air grew 4.1 percent to 665,393 visitors, offsetting a 46.6 percent decline in arrivals by cruise ships. Total visitor days were up 2.1 percent compared to April 2014. Combined with higher average daily spending (+3.2% to $196 per person), total visitor expenditures rose 5.4 percent to $1.2 billion.
For the US West, arrivals by air increased 7.7 percent to 295,683 visitors, and contributed to a 6.7 percent growth in visitor expenditures to $424.2 million. Daily spending was $162 per person (+0.5%).
US East arrivals grew 3.6 percent to 133,509 visitors and the average daily spending was $195 per person (-0.5%). US East visitor expenditures increased 2.6 percent to $248.5 million.
After four previous months of declines, Japanese arrivals rose 1.9 percent to 98,240 visitors in April 2015. However, lower daily spending (-11.2% to $242 per person) led to a 10.5 percent decrease in visitor expenditures to $136.2 million.
At the top of the slow season, Canadian arrivals declined 8.3 percent to 45,422 visitors, which resulted in a 7.1 percent drop in visitor expenditures to $88.1 million.
Arrivals from All Other markets rose 2.9 percent to 92,538 visitors. Combined expenditures from All Other visitors were $256.8 million, 26.5 percent higher than last April.
Visitors days increased on Oahu (+4.8%), Maui (+2.5%) and Hawaii Island (+4.3%) and was relatively unchanged for Kauai (+0.2%) compared to April 2014.
There were 978,585 total air seats to Hawaii in April 2015, up 8.9 percent from a year ago. Growth in scheduled seats from US West (+14.7%), Oceania (+14%), US East (+12.8%) and Canada (+12.5%) offset fewer seats from Other Asia (-11.7%) and Japan (-7.7%).
For the first four months of 2015, total arrivals (by air and by cruise ships) increased 2.9 percent to 2,798,427 visitors. Total visitor expenditures of $5 billion were similar to year-to-date 2014. Total visitor expenditures increased on Kauai (+6.2%) and Maui (+5.4%), but declined on Hawaii Island (-8.3%) and Oahu (-1.8%).