Tuesday, December 25, 2001

Foreign cruise visitors
to isles increase 58%

The study covering September
through November shows passengers
spent $86.40 per day on shore

By Lyn Danninger

The state saw a 58 percent jump in the number of visitors on foreign cruise ships during September through November this year, according to data collected by the state's Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

A total of 41,310 passengers made 26 trips on 10 foreign cruise ships during the period. Most of the ships were larger than the 9 foreign cruise vessels that made 19 trips during the same period last year, according to DBEDT.


The increase bodes well for an even greater number of cruise ships and visitors projected to arrive next year. According to recent projections from the North West Cruise Ship Association, which worked with DBEDT on the study, the number of cruise visitors to Hawaii next year should increase from 160,000 this year to 250,000 in 2002.

The new study was the first time the department has been able to take an accurate measure of on-land cruise passenger expenditures, said Mark Want, communications director for DBEDT.

Want said the system should make it easier from now on to track cruise ship visitor spending.

"It's a new measurement tool." he said.

"It's true value will come in over time. We get a better handle here on spending because over the years there have been a lot of estimates on what they spend and bring into the economy," he said.

During the September --November period, foreign cruise ship visitors spent approximately $86.40 per person per day while on shore. U.S. East Coast visitors were the biggest spenders at an average of $94.20 per person per day. They were followed by Europeans who spent an average of $87.40 per person per day. West Coast visitors averaged $82.60 per person per day. Canadians spent the least, averaging $69.70 per person per day.

The study also looked at the total average length of stay on land before and after a cruise. U.S. West Coast visitors and Canadians stayed the longest in the islands during the September through November period. U.S. West Coast visitors averaged 3.36 extra days while Canadians spent 2.87 days in addition to their cruise.

Of the 41,3100 passengers who toured the islands aboard cruise ships during the period, nearly all, 98.5 percent, were out-of-state visitors with only 602 Hawaii residents taking the trips.

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