Monday, March 17, 2014

Tourists are still visiting Hawaii but spending less

The Hawaii Tourism Authority has reported its fifth consecutive month of year-on-year declines in visitor spend. Total visitor expenditure fell to -4.7% to $1.37 billion in January, despite welcoming 682,364 visitors – similar to 2013 levels.

Growth in international visitors by air in January compensated for losses in arrivals from the USA. Japanese visitor arrivals climbed by +7% to 126,330 visitors in January 2014. But daily spend from Japanese tourists dropped by -11.9% to $295 per person, resulting in a -7.3% decline in expenditure to $212 million.

Daily spending by Japanese visitors has declined in 12 of the past 13 months. In January daily spending on shopping fell -16.8% (to $78 per person). Spending on lodging (-12.8% to $119), food & beverage (-3.3% to $51), and transportation (-12.8% to $12) also saw a decrease compared to January 2013.

Australian passenger arrivals increased by +12.5% to 28,229 visitors in January 2014 and arrivals from New Zealand nearly doubled to 4,889 visitors. Arrivals from Korea increased +33.5% to 16,637 visitors in January 2014.

Chinese passenger arrivals rose +5.5% to 10,887 visitors and there were three times more visitors from Taiwan in January 2014 (4,025 compared to 1,345 a year ago).

Growth in Canadian arrivals (+4.2% to 70,167 visitors) was also offset by lower daily spending (-14.9% to $147 per person), resulting in a -8.7% drop in Canadian visitor expenditures to US$153.6 million in January 2014.

Arrivals from all other regions were up +9% to 90,396 visitors, with significantly more visitors from Other Asia (+29.3%) and Oceania (+20%). Combined expenditures from All Other visitors of US$219 million was similar to January 2013.

Cruise ships passenger arrivals decreased by -3.1% to 17,680 visitors.

USA West visitor expenditure fell -6.1% to $393.8 million in January 2014 as a result of fewer arrivals (-4.6% to 231,871 visitors) and lower daily visitor spending (-2.5% to $154 per person). USA West visitor expenditure and arrivals have been in decline since August 2013.

USA East arrivals decreased by -4.1% to 146,190 and daily spending fell by -0.9% to $204 per person, leading to a -3.1% drop in visitor expenditure to US$381.8 million. This was the fourth consecutive month of year-on-year decline in USA East visitor expenditures and arrivals.

Total number of seats to Hawaii grew to 946,549 in January 2014, up by +3.4% compared to January 2013. Scheduled seats from Asia (+21.5%) and Oceania (+20.1%) rose significantly and scheduled seats from Japan (+10.2%) and Canada (+9.1%) also increased. Growth in scheduled seats from USA West (-0.7%) and East (+0.6%) was flat compared to January 2013.

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