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Visitor spending hot streak continued in September

OGG Baggage Claim 01 kahului airport Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority
Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority
Kahului Airport on Maui

This year’s visitor spending hot streak continued in the month of September. That’s the latest from the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

More than 700,000 visitors came to the islands last month, spending nearly $1.5 billion. Arrivals are still down, but only by 4.5%.

Spending is up nearly 19% compared to the same time three years ago.

"We did see higher per person, per day spending from all of the markets. And regarding average daily census, we had higher average daily census for just the U.S. markets," said Jennifer Chun, the director of tourism research at DBEDT.

"Looking at by island, we did see expenditures go up on all of the islands. Per person, per day spending was up on all the islands. However, visitor arrivals were only up for the island of Maui, Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island," Chun said.

About 24,000 Japanese travelers came to the islands last month. But a majority of arrivals are still coming from the continental U.S.

So far this year, visitors have spent more than $14 billion in the state, up 8% compared to the first nine months of 2019.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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