HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Hawaii visitor surveys, handed out on airplanes, show a growing number of visitors intend to spend their entire vacations on a single neighbor islands.
Oahu single-island visits are also up, but the neighbor island factor is significant because as recently as a decade ago the typical Hawaii visitor would make only a brief side trip to a neighbor island during a vacation otherwise spent in Waikiki.
Driven by growth in direct mainland flights to Kahului, Kona, Lihue and Hilo, especially by United Airlines and Alaska Airlines, more visitors are spending one to three weeks on neighbor islands.
In February, for example, Molokai single-island visitors were up a third from year-before levels, representing hundreds more visitors, but a greater increase in visitor days.
Kauai single-island visitors were up 12 percent, representing thousands of visitors choosing to spend their entire Hawaii stays on the Garden Isle.
Two thirds of visitors to Maui stay there for their whole vacations, while the Big Island, with 3 percent more visitors overall than a year ago, saw a slightly larger increase in single-island visitors.
One of the largest remaining sorts of neighbor island "side trips" is brief trips by visitors to other islands to see the volcanoes.