Visitor spending up slightly for 2007
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Canadian visitors provided the only bright spot in a lackluster 2007 for Hawaii's visitor industry, which saw arrivals fall behind 2006 and expenditures barely eke out a gain.
Total arrivals for 2007 were tallied at 7,368,048 visitors, a 1.2 percent dip compared to the year before, according to figures released yesterday by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
Expenditures for the year totaled $12.2 billion, up a mere 0.9 percent from 2006.
For December, total visitor arrivals decreased 2.7 percent to 649,159 visitors, as arrivals from the three major markets -- the U.S. West, U.S. East and Japan -- all registered declines.
However, Canadian visitors, the state's fourth largest market, jumped by 19.6 percent to 47,889 for December, the fifth consecutive month of increases.
For the year, Canadian visitor arrivals grew by 5.3 percent, marking the fifth straight year of annual growth.
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Hawaii visitor arrivals in 2007 fell short of the year before, as expected, but data released yesterday indicate that the state managed to wrap up the year with a slight increase in visitor spending.
The number of visitors arriving in Hawaii by air in December with the percentage change from the same month a year earlier:
Source: Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
The 2007 total of $12.2 billion in visitor expenditures was 0.9 percent higher than 2006, according to the latest numbers from the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
"Hawaii's visitor industry remained stable in 2007, especially coming off of two robust years of growth," said state tourism liaison Marsha Wienert. "We continue to be encouraged by the increase in visitor spending, as well as ongoing growth in the number of visitors from markets such as Canada, Hawaii's fourth-largest market, and the strong performance of Hawaii's cruise industry."
For December, visitor expenditures rose 3.2 percent to $1.2 billion compared to the same period a year earlier. The average daily visitor spending for December also grew to $183 per person in 2007, compared to $179 per person in 2006.
However, total visitor arrivals for December decreased 2.7 percent to 649,159 visitors.
The number of visitors to Hawaii for the month fell in three major markets -- U.S. West visitors fell by 5.2 percent, U.S. East visitors by 7 percent, and Japanese visitors by 3.8 percent.
The bright spot is the gain in Canadian visitors, the state's fourth-largest market, which jumped 19.6 percent to 47,889 for December, marking the fifth consecutive month of increases.
It was also the fifth straight year of annual growth for Canadian visitor arrivals, which were up 5.3 percent for 2007.
The number of cruise visitors in December also dipped slightly by 0.6 percent to 42,509 visitors, though the average length of stay during the month was up slightly at 10.38 days.
Total cruise visitors in 2007 grew by 20.6 percent to 501,598 visitors -- counting those who flew to Hawaii to board cruise ships as well as those who came by cruise ships visiting Hawaii.
For the year, there were 77 cruise ship arrivals compared to 64 last year.
Visitor spending was strongest on Oahu, which in 2007 rose 1.9 percent to $5.7 billion over the prior year, followed by Maui, at $3.4 billion, the Big Island, at $1.7 billion and Kauai, at $1.3 billion.
For Maui, the spending was 4.3 percent less than in 2006. For the Big Island and Kauai, the spending was higher, at 3.9 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, over 2006.
For the year, Kauai was the only island with increased visitor traffic from all four markets, while Oahu saw growth in arrivals from the U.S. West and Canada, but fewer from the U.S. East and Japan.
The Big Island reported increased arrivals from the U.S. East and Canada, while Maui experienced growth in Canadian visitors.
For the full year of 2007, total visitor days decreased 1.6 percent, while total arrivals dipped 1.2 percent to 7,368,048 visitors. There were fewer Japanese and U.S. East visitors compared to the year prior. The average length of stay remained unchanged, at 9.15 days.