HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Not only did October turn out to be strong for the off-season, but first indications from November aren't too shabby, either.
A day after the Hawaii Tourism Authority reported October visitors up 14 percent and spending up 25 percent from last year, the state's daily air passengers count showed November arrivals up 17 percent, biggest month percentage improvement of the year.
More than 607,000 people flew to Hawaii in November, compared to 518,000 in the same month last year, according to data from DBEDT, the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.
That was better than January, February or April, and almost as good as September. Last year November was the slowest month.
DBEDT arrivals figures do not accord with later tourism authority reports because they include returning locals, a factor that is larger in some months than others. Typically, however, at least 85 percent of arrivals are genuine visitors.
International arrivals were up only 1.4 percent and traffic from Japan specifically was up only 0.9% from November 2009. Arrivals from Japan topped 4,000 only three days in November, all in the first week of Hawaiian Airlines service from Tokyo Haneda.
The improvement came, rather, from the mainland, where traffic was up 12 percent, with 6 percent more arrivals than last year to Honolulu, 10 percent more to Kauai, 25 percent more to Maui, and 30 percent more to the Big Island.
That was similar to what was seen in October, and tourism marketing officials attributed the improvement to an increase in direct neighbor island flights from the West Coast.