$1.5 billion: Hawaii visitor spending up 6.3 percent in August 2019
Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $1.50 billion in August 2019, an increase of 6.3 percent compared to August 2018, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA). It should be noted that August 2018’s results were partially impacted by concerns related to Hurricane Lane and the Kilauea eruption.
Tourism dollars from the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) helped to fund numerous community events and initiatives across the state in August, including the Okinawan Festival, Duke’s OceanFest, the AVPFirst youth volleyball clinics on six islands, the Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon, and the Emma Farden Sharpe Hula Festival.
In August, visitor spending increased from U.S. West (+17.1% to $578.6 million), U.S. East (+15.8% to $383.5 million) and Canada (+8.2% to $57.3 million), but declined from Japan (-1.2% to $225.4 million) and All Other International Markets (-16.0% to $256.8 million) compared to a year ago.
On a statewide level, average daily visitor spending declined (-1.2% to $191 per person) in August
year-over-year. Visitors from Canada (+6.0% to $178 per person), U.S. East (+4.1% to $206 per person) and U.S. West (+2.9% to $167) spent more per person, while visitors from All Other International Markets (-12.4% to $212) spent less. Average daily spending by Japanese visitors (-0.3% to $224 per person) was similar to last year.
Total visitor arrivals increased 9.8 percent to 928,178 visitors in August. All visitor arrivals were via air service as no out-of-state cruise ships visited Hawaii this month. Total visitor days1 increased 7.6 percent. The statewide average daily census2, or the number of visitors on any given day in August, was 253,855, up 7.6 percent from last year.
Visitor arrivals by air service increased in August from U.S. West (+17.1% to 421,229), U.S. East (+16.5% to 202,223) and Canada (+2.0% to 28,716), but declined from Japan (-2.3% to 155,779) and All Other International Markets (-3.2% to 120,230) compared to a year ago.
Among the four larger islands, Oahu saw increased visitor spending (+1.0% to $730.5 million) in August, boosted by growth in visitor arrivals (+7.7% to 577,384), which offset lower daily spending (-4.4%). On Maui, visitor spending grew (+14.0% to $404.8 million) with daily spending (+4.1%) and visitor arrivals also increasing (+11.3% to 273,786). The island of Hawaii recorded increases in visitor spending (+16.5% to $193.4 million), daily spending (+1.8%) and visitor arrivals (+18.4% to 158,972). Visitor spending on Kauai (+0.4% to $158.4 million) was comparable to the same period from a year ago, with growth in visitor arrivals (+4.7% to 120,679) offsetting a drop in daily spending (-3.5%).
A total of 1,212,926 trans-Pacific air seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands in August, up 4.3 percent from a year ago. Growth in air seats from U.S. East (+11.5%) and U.S. West (+8.1%) offset decreases from Canada (-11.0%), Other Asia (-9.5%), Oceania (-9.4%) and Japan (-6.0%).
Year-to-date through August, total visitor spending was down slightly (-0.5%) to $12.08 billion. Visitor spending increased from U.S. West (+4.7% to $4.70 billion) and U.S. East (+2.5% to $3.29 billion), but declined from Japan (-4.4% to $1.45 billion), Canada (-1.5% to $743.4 million) and All Other International Markets (-12.9% to $1.87 billion).
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Statewide average daily spending by visitors decreased to $194 per person (-3.1%) due to lower spending by visitors from most markets.
Year-to-date, total visitor arrivals increased (+5.2% to 7,117,572) versus last year, supported by growth in arrivals from air service (+5.1% to 7,041,100) and cruise ships (+14.6% to 76,472). Visitor arrivals by air grew from U.S. West (+10.8% to 3,151,776), U.S. East (+5.8% to 1,615,491) and Canada (+1.4% to 365,974), offsetting fewer visitors from Japan (-1.0% to 1,033,687) and All Other International Markets (-5.3% to 874,172). Total visitor days rose 2.7 percent compared to the first eight months of 2018.
Oahu recorded year-to-date increases in visitor spending (+1.1% to $5.54 billion) and visitor arrivals (+5.2% to 4,226,750), but daily spending was down (-3.6%) compared to the first eight months of 2018. On Maui, visitor spending rose slightly (+0.6% to $3.51 billion) as growth in visitor arrivals (+5.0% to 2,104,963) offset lower daily spending (-2.4%). The island of Hawaii reported declines in visitor spending (-6.3% to $1.57 billion) and daily spending (-4.2%), and flat visitor arrivals (-0.1% to 1,217,349). Kauai also saw decreases in visitor spending (-3.7% to $1.32 billion) and daily spending (-2.4%), and no growth in visitor arrivals (-0.4% to 947,748).
U.S. West: In August, visitor arrivals from the Mountain region increased 24.3 percent year-over-year, with growth in visitors from Arizona (+34.6%), Nevada (+29.7%), Utah (+17.5%) and Colorado (+13.1%). Arrivals from the Pacific region rose 16.7 percent with more visitors from Washington (+17.4%), California (+17.0%) and Oregon (+13.1%).
Year-to-date through August, visitor arrivals rose from the Pacific (+11.4%) and Mountain (+10.5%) regions versus the same period last year. Daily visitor spending dropped to $173 per person (-1.8%) as a result of decreases in lodging, transportation, and entertainment and recreation expenses, while spending on shopping, food and beverage was similar to last year.
U.S. East: In August, visitor arrivals increased from all regions highlighted by growth from the two largest regions, East North Central (+15.8%) and South Atlantic (+15.5%) versus a year ago.
Year-to-date through August, visitor arrivals increased from every region. Daily visitor spending of $210 per person (-0.3%) was similar to a year ago.
Japan: Year-to-date through August, stays in timeshares (+6.7%) and with friends and relatives (+6.8%) increased, while stays in condominiums (-2.0%) and hotels (-1.2%) declined compared to a year ago. Average daily visitor spending decreased to $236 per person (-2.3%) primarily due to lower lodging and shopping expenses.
Canada: Year-to-date through August, fewer visitors stayed in condominiums (-4.4%) while more visitors stayed with friends and relatives (+11.6%), in rental homes (+4.3%), timeshares (+1.6%) and hotels (+0.6%) compared to a year ago. Average daily visitor spending dropped slightly to $167 per person (-0.8%) due to lower lodging expenses.
 Aggregate number of days stayed by all visitors.
 Average daily census is the average number of visitors present on a single day.