HTA: Visitor arrivals, spending up for (most of) the state

HTA: Visitor arrivals, spending up for (most of) the state
Visitor arrivals and spending increased for most of the Hawaiian Islands in September. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - More visitors are flocking to the state and spending more money, according to the latest report by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

The new numbers released in the preliminary visitor statistics report Monday show an increase in both spending and arrivals for the main Hawaiian Islands, with the exception of one ― Hawaii Island.

According to the report, total visitor arrivals grew to 724,863 during September alone, which is a 3.5 percent increase compared to a year ago.

Numbers for Oahu, Maui and Kauai increased when it came to spending and arrivals, while Hawaii Island saw a roughly 14 percent decrease in both, likely caused by the fear of the Kilauea eruption.

The HTA says visitors spent a total of $1.28 billion last month, bringing the year-to-date spending total to $13.62 billion in the first three quarters 2018.

Also key to note: Visitor numbers to the state increased from the U.S. Mainland’s east and west coasts, but visitors from Canada and Japan fell slightly in September.

The decrease in visitors from Japan is pinned to Typhoon Jebi, which forced the cancellation of about 80 Hawaii-bound flights from Kansai International Airport. Some 50 flights to Hawaii were added from Narita and Nagano airports to offset the loss of seats to the islands, but it still resulted in lower numbers.

Lodging and transportation expenses were higher than a year ago, but spending declined for shopping, food and beverage, and entertainment and recreation, HTA officials added.

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