Hawaii visitor spending outpaces inflation

Hawaii visitor spending outpacing inflation
Updated: Mar. 30, 2017 at 5:00 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii had an average 230,544 visitors on any given day in February, up 5.8% from the same month last year.

Their spending rose 11.5%, to almost $48 million a day. The overall pace of inflation in Hawaii has been closer to 2% in recent months.

The performance was better than expected, especially given that air capacity was down 1.3%, which meant that airlines had to fly fuller than usual to produce an increase in visitors.

Visitor traffic appeared strong to all islands but with a particular increase to the Big Island following the launch of Hawaiian Airlines flights from Haneda to Kona.

"We are thrilled with these results," said Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO George Szigeti, but in a statement he added he is "not taking this success for granted" and thanked industry partners for ongoing marketing campaigns "to maintain Hawaii's positive momentum."

The HTA spring sessions, which brief hoteliers and attractions providers on marketing efforts, are today at the Hawaii Convention Center.

For the first two months of 2017, Hawaii tourism has generated $344 million in state tax revenue, or $28 million more than last year at the same time, a 9% increase. That's about four times the pace of inflation, and comes at a time when overall state tax revenues have been flattening out.

Based on February data, Hawaii has 12,000 visitors from Japan on an average day, 6,000 from Australia, 6,000 from South Korea, and 4,000 from China.

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