Hawaii Tourism: January visitor spending down 3.8%

Hawaii Tourism: January visitor spending down 3.8%

Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $1.62 billion in January 2019, a decrease of 3.8 percent compared to January 2018, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

In January, visitor spending increased from the U.S. East (+2.4% to $461.6 million) but declined from U.S. West (-5.4% to $557.8 million), Japan (-6.5% to $179.4 million), Canada (-2.1% to $167.6 million) and All Other International Markets (-9.4% to $254.4 million) compared to a year ago.

On a statewide level, average daily visitor spending was down (-5.3% to $199 per person) in January year-over-year. Visitors from U.S. East (+1.0%) spent more per day while visitors from Japan (-11.3%), U.S. West (-5.4%), Canada (-2.3%) and All Other International Markets (-14%) spent less.

Total visitor arrivals to Hawaii grew 3.0 percent to 820,621 visitors in January, with total visitor days1 also increasing (+1.6%) versus a year ago. Arrivals by air service (+3.2% to 809,098) increased, while arrivals by cruise ships (-5.9% to 11,523) declined.

Arrivals by air service realized growth from Japan (+5.7%), U.S. West (+4.5%), U.S. East (+2.4%) and All Other International Markets (+0.7%), which offset a slight decrease from Canada (-1.0%). The average daily census2 of total visitors in the Hawaiian Islands on any given day in January was 263,679, up 1.6 percent compared to January of last year.

Among the four larger islands, only Oahu recorded increases in both visitor spending (+6.7% to $706.4 million) and visitor arrivals (+6.8% to 491,922) in January versus a year ago. Visitor spending on Maui decreased (-13.8% to $472.6 million) despite growth in visitor arrivals (+1.2% to 233,320). The island of Hawaii recorded declines in both visitor spending (-5.5% to $253.4 million) and visitor arrivals (-6.5% to 148,126), as did Kauai with its visitor spending (-7.8% to $176.4 million) and visitor arrivals (-2.9% to 106,064) in January year over year.

A total of 1,134,182 trans-Pacific air seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands in January, up slightly (+1.0%) from a year ago. Growth in air seats from Canada (+10.9%), Japan (+5.9%) and U.S. West (+1.5%) offset declines from Other Asia markets (-20.2%) and U.S. East (-2.9%). Air seat capacity from Oceania (-0.2%) was flat compared to January 2018.

Other Highlights:

• U.S. West: Visitor arrivals from the Pacific region increased 7.3 percent in January compared to a year ago, with more visitors from Washington (+9.2%), Oregon (+9.0%) and California (+6.9%). Arrivals from the Mountain region in January were up slightly (+0.6%). Average daily visitor spending dropped to $180 per person (-5.4%) in January year-over-year, which was largely due to a decrease in lodging and food and beverage expenses.

• U.S. East: Growth in visitor arrivals from the East South Central (+12.6%), South Atlantic (+5.4%), West North Central (+5.1%) and West South Central (+4.4%) regions offset fewer visitors from the New England (-4.5%) and East North Central (-2.0%) regions in January versus last year. Average daily visitor spending rose slightly to $217 per person (+1.0%).

• Japan: There was moderate growth in hotel stays (+1.8%) along with strong growth in timeshare (+18.1%) and condominium (+18.0%) stays in January compared to a year ago. Average daily visitor spending declined to $238 per person (-11.3%) in January, mostly due to decreased spending on lodging.

• Canada: In January, visitor stays decreased in hotels (-5.9%) and condominiums (-2.2%) but increased in rental homes (+14.8%) and timeshares (+4.1%) compared to last January. Average daily visitor spending dropped to $172 per person (-2.3%) in January, due to lower lodging expenses.

• MCI: A total of 59,266 visitors came to the Hawaiian Islands for meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI) in January, an increase of 10.5 percent from a year ago. More visitors came to attend corporate meetings (+22.1%) and conventions (+13.4%) but fewer traveled on incentive trips (-3.6%).


[1] Aggregate number of days stayed by all visitors.
[2] Average daily census is the average number of visitors present on a single day.

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