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Hawaii visitor spending increased 11.5 percent in February

Hawaii visitor spending increased 11.5 percent in February

Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $47.8 million per day in February 2017, representing a gain of 11.5 percent from February 2016[1], according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA). There were 230,544 total visitors in Hawaii on any given day in February 2017, up 5.8 percent from the same month last year.

Visitor spending increased from U.S. West (+17.4% to $16.8 million per day), U.S. East (+14.1% to $12.8 million per day), Japan (+14% to $6.3 million per day) and Canada (+11% to $4.4 million per day) in February 2017, but declined from All Other International Markets (-5.3% to $7.5 million per day) compared to February 2016.

Statewide per person daily spending was higher (+5.4% to $208) in February 2017 than a year ago. Visitors spent more per person from U.S. West (+12.6% to $194), U.S. East (+6.3% to $214) and Canada (+13.3% to $169), while visitors from All Other International Markets spent less (-8.7% to $243). Per person daily spending by Japanese visitors ($246) was unchanged from last year.

The average daily census[2] in February 2017 showed growth in visitor arrivals from U.S. West (+4.2% to 86,313 visitors), U.S. East (+7.3% to 59,820 visitors) and Japan (+13.8% to 25,466 visitors), but fewer visitors from Canada (-2% to 26,217 visitors) compared to February 2016.


Contributing to the growth in visitor arrivals in February 2017 was a considerable increase by those who came by cruise ship, resulting in a gain of 8,583 visitors (or +178% to 13,404 visitors) versus last year. Furthermore, visitors flying to Hawaii and boarding the home-ported cruise ship added another 4,682 visitors (or +104.1% to 9,181 visitors).

The average daily census in February 2017 showed an increase in visitor arrivals on Oahu (+7.8% to 102,023 visitors), the island of Hawaii (+8.9% to 37,483 visitors) and Kauai (+5.4% to 26,102 visitors), but slightly fewer on Maui (-0.9% to 61,385 visitors). Visitor spending increased on all of the Hawaiian Islands in February 2017 compared to the year prior.

The total number of air seats serving Hawaii in February 2017 declined 1.3 percent to an average of 32,582 seats per day.

Year-to-Date 2017

For the first two months of 2017, total visitor spending rose (+9% to $2.9 billion) representing an average of $49.9 million in visitor spending per day, up from $45.1 million per day last year. Total visitor arrivals grew 3.3 percent to 1,456,739 visitors, while the average daily census rose 4.9 percent to 240,382 visitors per day.

Other Highlights:

• U.S. West: In February 2017, 79.7 percent of visitor arrivals were from the Pacific region while 20.3 percent were from the Mountain region. In February 2016, the mix of visitor arrivals from the Pacific and Mountain regions was 80.2 percent and 19.8 percent, respectively. For the first two months of 2017, arrivals increased from the Mountain region (+4.6%) while growth from the Pacific region (+0.4%) was flat.

• U.S. East: Contributing to the growth (+4.6%) in visitor arrivals in February 2017 were gains from the East South Central (+16%), Mid Atlantic (+7.8%) and New England (+6.9%) regions. For the first two months of 2017, all U.S. East regions showed growth in arrivals except for a slight drop from the West South Central region (-0.7%) compared to the same period for 2016.

• Japan: The island of Hawaii saw strong growth in arrivals (+16.4% to 12,431 visitors) in February 2017 versus a year ago. There were considerably more visitors who stayed exclusively on the island of Hawaii (+37.4% to 3,420) this February than last year. Supporting this growth was the launch of non-stop air service from Haneda to Kona in December 2016.

Highlights from All Other Markets:

• Australia: The average daily census increased (+6.8% to 6,035 visitors) in both February 2017 and the first two months of the year (+3.5% 7,212 visitors).

• New Zealand: The average daily census grew by double-digits in both February 2017 (+23.5% to 679 visitors) and the first two months of 2017 (+16.3% to 997 visitors).

• China: The average daily census (-10.5% to 4,041 visitors) declined this February compared to last year. Fewer available air seats and the shift in the Lunar New Year holidays to January 2017 from February 2016 contributed to this decrease. Year-to-date, the average daily census increased (+15.8% to 4,545 visitors), boosted by a longer length of stay.

• Taiwan: The average daily census grew in both February 2017 (+3.9% to 550 visitors) and through the first two months of 2017 (+18.1% to 498 visitors per day).

• Korea: The average daily census for February 2017 (+3.6% to 6,136 visitors) and the first two months of 2017 (+2% to 6,141 visitors) increased versus the same period last year.

• Europe: The average daily census from Europe (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland) decreased in both February 2017 (-3.1% 3,646 visitors) and through the first two months of the year (-3.7% to 3,670 visitors).

• Latin America: The average daily census from Mexico, Brazil and Argentina declined for both February 2017 (-31% to 648 visitors) and the first two months of the year (-17.2% to 848 visitors).

[1] February 2016 included an extra day due to leap year. To directly compare with February 2017 data, visitor spending was stated on a per day basis and the average daily census was used as a measure of visitor volume, where applicable.

[2] Average Daily Census is the average number of visitors present on a single day.
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