Hawaii Tourism Authority: Visitor spending down 2.4 percent in Q1 2019

Hawaii Tourism Authority: Visitor spending down 2.4 percent in Q1 2019

Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $4.52 billion in the first quarter of 2019, a decrease of 2.4 percent compared to the first quarter of 20181, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA).

In the first quarter, visitor spending was flat from the U.S. West (-0.3% to $1.64 billion) and declined from U.S. East (-1.4% to $1.23 billion), Japan (-3.2% to $539.9 million), Canada (-2.0% to $455.7 million) and All Other International Markets (-8.8% to $637.7 million) compared to a year ago.

Total visitor arrivals in the first quarter grew 2.6 percent to 2,542,269 visitors, supported by arrivals via air service (+2.6% to 2,502,636) and cruise ships (-0.8% to 39,632) compared to the first quarter of 2018. Due to a shorter average length of stay by visitors from most markets, total visitor days2 was flat (+0.2%).

Visitor arrivals by air service in the first quarter increased from U.S. West (+7.1% to 1,030,644), U.S. East (+2.0% to 578,837), Japan (+2.2% to 391,228) and Canada (+0.9% to 209,525) while combined visitor arrivals from All Other International Markets declined (-8.1% to 292,402) versus last year.

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Among the four larger islands, Oahu recorded increases in both visitor spending (+4.6% to $2.01 billion) and visitor arrivals (+3.7% to 1,481,543) in the first quarter compared to a year ago. Visitor spending decreased on Maui (-5.5% to $1.33 billion) despite growth in visitor arrivals (+2.8% to 727,967). The island of Hawaii realized declines in both visitor spending (-13.3% to $648.6 million) and visitor arrivals (-9.3% to 449,615), as did Kauai with its visitor spending (-4.2% to $483.5 million) and visitor arrivals (-1.4% to 333,961).

March 2019 Visitor Results

In March 2019, total visitor spending statewide declined 2.3 percent to $1.51 billion compared to March 2018. Visitor spending rose from U.S. West (+0.7% to $576.9 million) but decreased from U.S. East (-0.6% to $402.5 million), Japan (-2.0% to $190.4 million), Canada (-5.4% to $137.4 million) and All Other International Markets (-11.1% to $195.6 million).

On a statewide level, average daily visitor spending was down (-3.0% to $192 per person) in March year-over-year. Visitors from U.S. West (-4.4%), Canada (-3.2%), Japan (-1.8%) and U.S. East (-1.6%) spent less per day in March compared to a year ago.

A total of 939,064 visitors came to Hawaii in March, up 3.9 percent from the same month last year. Arrivals by air service (+4.1% to 927,246) increased while arrivals by cruise ships (-10.4% to 11,818) declined. Total visitor days increased 0.7 percent.

Arrivals by air service realized growth from U.S. West (+9.7%), U.S. East (+4.1%) and Canada (+1.3%) in March versus last year. Arrivals from Japan (+0.4%) was comparable while arrivals from All Other International Markets (-8.7%) declined.

The average daily census3 of total visitors in the Hawaiian Islands on any given day in March was 253,498, an increase of 0.7 percent compared to March of last year.

On Oahu, visitor spending (+6.7% to $687.5 million) and visitor arrivals (+4.3% to 532,801) increased in March year-over-year. Visitor spending on Maui decreased (-3.3% to $442.9 million) even though arrivals increased (+5.4% to 273,846). The island of Hawaii recorded declines in both visitor spending (-19.3% to $203.0 million) and visitor arrivals (-6.7% to 163,987). Kauai also saw decreases in both visitor spending (-9.6% to $153.7 million) and visitor arrivals (-1.3% to 123,730).

A total of 1,192,137 trans-Pacific air seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands in March, up 1.6 percent from a year ago. Growth in air seats from Canada (+12.0%), U.S. East (+4.9%), Japan (+4.6%) and U.S. West (+0.9%) offset declines from Oceania (-10.5%) and Other Asia Markets (-8.4%).

Other Highlights

U.S. West: In the first quarter, visitor arrivals increased from both the Pacific (+7.9%) and Mountain (+7.1%) regions year-over-year. Visitors spent an average of $179 per person per day in the first quarter, down from $185 per person per day last year. Visitors spent less for lodging, transportation, food and beverage, and entertainment and recreation, while shopping expenses were similar. There was growth in hotel (+6.5%), timeshare (+2.4%), condominium (+2.1%) and rental home (+10.6%) stays in the first quarter versus last year.

In March, visitor arrivals from the Mountain region were up 15.0 percent year-over-year, with growth from Utah (+21.4%), Colorado (+19.5%) and Arizona (+10.6%) offsetting a decline from Nevada (-4.9%). Arrivals from the Pacific region rose 8.5 percent, with more visitors from Alaska (+12.7%), Oregon (+12.7%), Washington (+9.8%) and California (+7.3%).

U.S. East: In the first quarter, visitor arrivals increased from the East South Central (+12.6%), West North Central (+6.6%), West South Central (+4.9%) and East North Central (+2.5%) regions, but declined from the Mid Atlantic (-5.8%), New England (-2.0%) and South Atlantic (-0.6%) regions compared to a year ago. Average daily visitor spending decreased to $210 per person (-1.5%). Food and beverage expenses increased, while spending on transportation and lodging declined. Shopping and entertainment and recreation expenses were about the same. Stays in rental homes (+8.5%) and condominiums (+1.0%) increased but stays in hotels (-1.1%) and timeshares (-2.6%) were down in the first quarter from last year.

In March, there were more visitors from the East South Central (+21.1%), West North Central (+13.5%), West South Central (+10.9%), East North Central (+7.7%) and New England (+1.2%) regions, but fewer visitors from the Mid Atlantic (-15.7%) and South Atlantic (-2.6%) regions compared to a year ago.

Japan: In the first quarter, stays in hotels (+2.8%), timeshares (+1.0%) and with friends and relatives (+13.0%) increased, while stays in condominiums (-0.2%) were flat compared to a year ago. Average daily visitor spending decreased to $237 per person (-3.5%) year-over-year. Shopping expenses increased while transportation, lodging, and entertainment and recreation expenses declined.

Canada: In the first quarter, fewer visitors stayed in hotels (-1.0%) and condominiums (-5.2%) while stays in rental homes (+14.5%) and timeshares (+3.3%) increased from a year ago. Average daily visitor spending declined to $171 per person (-1.4%). Food and beverage expenses were higher while lodging and shopping expenses were lower.

MCI: Total visitor arrivals who came to Hawaii for meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI) events in the first quarter grew (+8.4% to 158,925) compared to the same period last year. In March, total MCI visitor arrivals increased (+3.1% to 42,616) with more visitors coming for conventions (+22.8%) and corporate meetings (+6.1%), but fewer for incentive trips (-27.6%) compared to last March.

Honeymoon: In the first quarter, the total number of honeymoon visitors declined (-9.8% to 98,601) versus a year ago. Honeymoon visitors in March decreased (-10.0% to 33,946) year-over-year, mainly due to fewer visitors coming from Korea (-35.9% to 4,824), Australia (-19.4% to 1,318), U.S. East (-5.6% to 5,152) and Japan (-3.4% to 13,019).

Get Married: In the first quarter, 20,329 visitors came to Hawaii to get married, down 3.2 percent from last year. In March, the number of visitors getting married in Hawaii decreased (-3.8% in 7,676), largely due to a decline from the Japan market (-21.0%).

[1] January – March 2018 visitor spending and daily spending statistics were revised.
[2] Aggregate number of days stayed by all visitors.
[3] Average daily census is the average number of visitors present on a single day.

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