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Hawai‘i Tourism Continuing Record Pace

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

November was another record-breaking month for the hospitality industry in Hawai‘i. The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority reports visitor arrivals were up nearly four-percent from a year ago. HPR’s Bill Dorman has some of the stories behind the numbers.

Tourism is booming across the Aloha State.  Visitor arrivals to Hawai‘i have now set records for nine months in a row.

In November, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority reports visitors increased their spending by two and a half percent compared to a year ago—a total of a bit more than a billion dollars.

The fastest growing market for arrivals last month was the East Coast of the United States—up 9.5% compared to a year ago.  West Coast mainland visitors were up a little more than 5%.  The arrival numbers were down nearly 5% from Canada—where the Canadian dollar still has its challenges against its US counterpart.  The figures were pretty much flat from Japan and up more than 7% from all other international markets.

The first 11 months of the year show arrival growth of a bit more than 4% for the state overall, and spending growth of a little more than 2% once those visitors get here.  Visitor arrivals are up on every major island - while tourist spending is up on every island except O‘ahu - where it’s slipped by nearly 1.5%.

Heading into the home stretch of 2015, the richest markets for visitors and spending remain familiar: the west coast of the United States is the biggest - followed by the east coast.  Japan is next—and despite a plunge of nearly 10% in visitor spending so far this year, Japanese have still brought in two-billion dollars in business through the first eleven months of this year - about double what the Canadians have spent.

Visitor arrivals from Australia are up about ten-percent this year compared to last—now topping 300,000.  That’s about twice the number of Chinese visitors—which are growing a little more than 6-percent so far this year.  South Korean arrivals are slightly below the Chinese - they’re down a little more than 6% compared to last year.

Put it all together and the numbers are on track for a record 2015—likely to surpass last year’s mark of 8.3 million visitors.    

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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