You read that right, folks: according to a press release just sent out by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), June saw a 13.1 percent increase in tourist spending at the same time visitor arrivals dropped 2.9 percent from June 2010 levels. For the first half of 2011, visitor spending has topped $6 billion, which is pretty much where things stood last year.
“It is important to note that the average length of stay has increased over 2010, supported by strong arrivals from Australia, China and Korea,” HTA President and CEO Mike McCartney said in the press release. “There has also been continued growth in per person per day spending due to increased spending for lodging, transportation and food and beverage. The continued momentum has pushed greater distribution of travelers to the neighbor islands, resulting in higher visitor spending, longer length of stay and an increase in year-to-date arrivals.”
According to the press release, Canadians (!) really opened their wallets: “Total expenditures by U.S. West (+11.8%), U.S. East (+16.1%) and Canadian (+31.2%) visitors continued to increase by double-digits in the first half of 2011, boosted by higher average daily spending and growth in arrivals,” noted the press release. “Japanese arrivals for the first half of 2011 fell 9.2 percent, but total Japanese visitor spending continued to increase (+5.6%).”
For more information, check out the HTA website’s research page.
PHOTO: Forest & Kim Starr