HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Great news for Hawaii's visitor industry and economy. Visitor spending in Hawaii increased 15.1 percent to $11.3 billion during the first 11 months of 2011.
That is compared to the same period in 2010.
According to numbers released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, for the month of November, total visitor spending grew 8.2 percent (up $73.5 million) from November 2010 to $972.5 million.
Total spending by all visitors has risen every month since May 2010. Higher daily spending ($186 per person, up from $179 per person in November 2010) contributed to the growth in total visitor expenditures.
Total arrivals in November 2011 rose 2.6 percent compared to last November to 566,672 visitors.
"The HTA's focus on Asia and emerging markets is paying off with growth in visitor spending and arrivals from Asia, including Korea, China and Japan. In November, air seat capacity from Japan increased 10.5 percent due to increased service and an additional 5,796 charter seats to Hawai'i. The average daily spending from Japanese visitors also increased, resulting in a 20 percent growth in visitor expenditures," said Mike McCartney, President and CEO Hawai'i Tourism Authority.
Total arrivals by air only in November 2011 increased 3.6 percent to 555,630 visitors.
Japanese arrivals grew 4.7 percent, the third consecutive month of increases. Arrivals from Canada (+5.1%), U.S. West (+0.6%) and U.S. East (+2.0%) were also higher compared to November 2010.
Arrivals by cruise ships fell 32 percent from November 2010 to 11,042 visitors.
For the first 11 months of 2011, total expenditures by Canadian visitors rose 26.5 percent, supported by strong growth in arrivals (+18.8%) and higher average daily spending. Total expenditures by U.S. West (+6.9%) and U.S. East (+9.5%) visitors continued to increase while U.S. West (+1.9%) and U.S. East (+2.0%) arrivals remained above year-to-date 2010.
Total Japanese visitor expenditures increased 8.1 percent, even though arrivals were lower (-5.4%) than the first 11 months of 2010.
Statement from Mike McCartney, President and CEO Hawai'i Tourism Authority
Continued growth in visitor spending is a strong indication that Hawai'i's tourism economy is improving. Spending rose 15.1 percent to $11.3 billion during the first 11 months of 2011 and we anticipate ending this year with year-over-year growth in visitor expenditures.
The HTA's focus on Asia and emerging markets is paying off with growth in visitor spending and arrivals from Asia, including Korea, China and Japan. In November, air seat capacity from Japan increased 10.5 percent due to increased service and an additional 5,796 charter seats to Hawai'i. The average daily spending from Japanese visitors also increased, resulting in a 20 percent growth in visitor expenditures.
The growth from these markets are helping to offset the drop in spending from the U.S. West and U.S. East that may be attributed to an increase in prices, as well as a recovering U.S. economy.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders' Week (APEC) provided an outstanding opportunity to promote Hawai'i as a global meetings destination and highlighted the Hawaiian Islands' centralized location in the Asia-Pacific region. As anticipated, overall arrivals during November showed modest growth compared to 2010, but the recent increases in arrivals and spending from Japan and other Asia are indicators of the significance of the Asia-Pacific region and the potential long-term impact that APEC will have on our community.
It is also important to note that the visitor data for November 2011 does not include APEC attendees who arrived via private planes or government transportation that is not captured by our research, as well as ancillary business spending that includes security expenses, equipment rental fees, meeting rooms, private parties and other expenses.
While the direct economic impact from the event is currently being analyzed, the HTA is working with our industry partners and stakeholders to capitalize on the momentum following APEC. Hawai'i's hosting of APEC was an investment in our state's long-term future and sustainability of Hawai'i's tourism economy.
As we head into 2012, we anticipate seeing an increased shift of our visitor profile with a growing number of visitor arrivals from the Asia-Pacific region. With new flights by Air Australia and Asiana Airlines, as well as increased service by Hawaiian Airlines to South Korea, we see potential to capitalize on opportunities and will continue developing these markets while building on recent gains that will help to provide jobs and stimulate our state's economy.