Hawaii Visitor Arrivals Set New Record for March Visitor Expenditures Comparable to a Year Ago
News Release from HTA, April 28, 2016
HONOLULU – Total visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands in March 2016 set a new record for the month with 786,262 visitors representing a small increase (+0.8%) from the prior year, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA). Total visitor days1 were up slightly (+0.6%) from March 2015.
Visitor arrivals on airlines increased (+1.8% to 779,388), with growth reported from U.S. West (+4.2% to 316,591), U.S. East (+4% to 176,894) and international markets (+6.8% to 92,413) other than Japan and Canada. Arrivals declined from Japan (-0.7% to 126,943) and Canada (-13.8% to 66,548).
Visitor arrivals by cruise ships dropped (-53.2% to 6,874) in March 2016, as five ships came to the islands versus eight ships in March 2015. In addition, the Hawai‘i home-ported cruise ship was in dry dock for refurbishment the first two weeks of March, resulting in two voyages not being offered that would have attracted about 4,000 visitors by air to Hawai‘i to tour the islands.
Total visitor expenditures of $1.3 billion (+0.3%) in March 2016 was comparable to a year ago. Visitor expenditures increased from U.S. West (+4% to $451.6 million), U.S. East (+1.2% to $303.2 million) and international markets (+12.1% to $220.7 million) other than Japan and Canada. Visitor expenditures declined from Japan (-5.6% to $156.7 million) and Canada (-18.6% to $132.3 million).
Statewide average daily spending of $183 per person in March 2016 was virtually unchanged from March 2015, as higher spending by visitors from other international markets balanced lower spending by visitors from U.S. East, Japan and Canada markets.
Among the four larger Hawaiian Islands, O‘ahu visitor arrivals (-0.8%) and visitor expenditures (-0.5%) declined slightly in March 2016 compared to the year prior. Maui visitor arrivals (+1%) and visitor expenditures (+4.3%) both increased this March. Hawai‘i Island had a small drop in visitor arrivals (-1.1%), but experienced a gain in visitor expenditures (+1.1%) for the month. Kaua‘i recorded decreases in both visitor arrivals (-3.5%) and visitor expenditures (-4.3%) in March 2016.
More visitors stayed exclusively on the islands of Maui (+8.1%), Kaua‘i (+6.5%), and Hawai‘i Island (+4.6%), while fewer visitors went to multiple islands (-6.3%) than a year ago.
There was a slight growth in total air seats (+0.7% to 1,058,805) to the Hawaiian Islands. Scheduled seats increased from Other Asia (+20.1%), Canada (+9.6%), U.S. East (+6%) and Oceania (+3.8%), offsetting a drop in seats from Japan (-8.4%).
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HTA: Statement by George D. Szigeti, President and CEO, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority