Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $1.69 billion in January 2018, an increase of 4.9 percent compared to January 2017, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA). It was the highest statewide total for visitor spending ever recorded for a single month in Hawaii’s history.
Total arrivals to Hawaii grew 5.4 percent to 796,483 visitors in January, with total visitor days also increasing (+4.1%) versus a year ago. Growth in arrivals by air service (+6.2% to 784,237) offset fewer arrivals by cruise ships (-29.7% to 12,246). The average daily census, or number of visitors on any given day in January was 259,481, up 4.1 percent compared to January of last year.
Spending by visitors from the U.S. West market increased (+8.3% to $589.4 million) in January. Total visitor arrivals rose sharply (+14% to 304,091), supported by expanded air service to the neighbor islands. However, the average daily spending by each visitor (-3.7% to $190 per person) was lower compared to a year ago.
The U.S. East market reported a gain in visitor spending (+4% to $450.6 million) in January, boosted by increases in visitor arrivals (+3.1% to 177,962) and average daily spending (+4.1% to $215 per person).
The Japan market saw a decline in visitor spending (-4.2% to $191.9 million) in January. Visitor arrivals (-3.7% to 118,767) and average daily spending decreased (-1.7% to $268 per person) versus last year.
There was growth in visitor spending from the Canada market (+6.3% to $171.1 million) in January. Visitor arrivals (+6.5% to 69,163) and average daily spending (+1% to $176 per person) increased from a year ago.
Visitor spending increased on Maui (+18% to $548.5 million), the island of Hawaii (+1.8% to $268.2 million) and Kauai (+2.3% to $191.2 million) in January, all of which were the highest monthly totals ever recorded for each island. Visitor spending on Oahu declined slightly (-1.9% to $662.0 million) in January compared to last year.
A total of 1,123,132 trans-Pacific air seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands in January, an increase of 9.7 percent from a year ago. Growth in air seats from Other Asia (+17.1%), U.S. West (+13.6%), U.S. East (+9.5%), Oceania (+5.4%) and Canada (+2.9%) offset a slight decline in seats from Japan (-1.3%).
U.S. West: Arrivals from the Mountain (+15.3%) and Pacific (+13.3%) regions increased sharply in January versus a year ago, with more visitors from Utah (+21.2%), California (+14.2%), Colorado (+14.1%), Oregon (+12.5%), Washington (+10.2%) and Arizona (+8.5%).
U.S. East: Growth in visitor arrivals from the West South Central (+7.5%), East North Central (+7%), West North Central (+4.7%), East South Central (+4.5%) and South Atlantic (+3.5%) regions offset fewer visitors from the New England (-4.5%) and Mid Atlantic (-4.3%) regions.
Japan: Stays in timeshare properties increased (+8.2%) in January compared to a year ago. More visitors made their own travel arrangements (+22.9%), while fewer visitors purchased package trips (-18.6%) and group tours (-8.7%).
Canada: More visitors stayed in hotels (+10.5%) compared to January 2017. Stays in rental homes (+14.7%) also increased from last year.
MCI: A total of 53,619 visitors came for meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI) in January, a decrease of 11.5 percent from a year ago. More visitors traveled on incentive trips (+11.4%) but fewer came to attend conventions (-19.2%) and corporate meetings (-3.3%).
George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), issued the following statement regarding Hawaii’s visitor statistics results for January 2018.
“We are fortunate that Hawaii’s tourism industry began 2018 with outstanding results in January, highlighted by a record monthly total of $1.69 billion in visitor spending statewide. It’s notable that Maui, Kauai and the island of Hawaii all achieved new record monthly totals as well in visitor spending.
“A significant factor for Hawaii’s success in January is that air seat capacity increased by 9.7 percent, which reflects the new flights that have been added recently, especially to the neighbor islands. Heightened travel demand leads to increased air access, and carriers are showing their confidence in Hawaii’s ability to attract travel consumers from the U.S. mainland and around the world.
“A benefit of tourism’s success in January is that $197 million in state tax revenue was generated, which is also a record monthly total. This is tax revenue that is strengthening our State at the government level, while the increased visitor spending is helping to support businesses and jobs for residents in communities throughout the state.
“HTA’s marketing team is working hard in our 10 target markets worldwide to drive travel demand for the Hawaiian Islands and help stave off the intense competition coming from other global destinations. We appreciate the continued support of our travel industry partners, as keeping Hawaii tourism strong for the future is a collective team effort.”