The latest numbers released by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority — from January to November — indicate the tourism economy in the Aloha State in 2014 will surpass the previous year’s numbers.
Hawai‘i’s tourism economy continues to pace slightly ahead of last year, contributing $293 million more toward the state’s economy, which translates to $1.4 billion in state tax revenue for the first 11 months of the year, a 2.3 percent increase from 2013, according to an HTA press release.
“We continue to focus our efforts on ensuring the long-term sustainability of one of the state’s largest economic drivers by distributing the benefits of tourism across the state,” HTA CEO Ronald Williams said in the press release. “Throughout the year, the Neighbor Islands have seen growth in spending surpassing last year’s records.”
Through November, he said, total expenditures are up on Maui (11.9 percent increase to $3.7 billion), Molokai (10.2 percent increase to $29.9 million), Kaua‘i (6.6 percent increase to $1.3 billion) and the Big Island (5.4 percent increase to $1.7 billion).
“Arrivals and spending from our developing international markets also continue to grow as we work toward diversifying our tourism profile and increasing first-time arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands,” said Williams, adding this has helped to balance HTA’s core markets like Japan, where economic uncertainty has led to slight declines in visitor arrivals and decreases in length of stay, which are affecting total expenditures and may hinder HTA from reaching year-end targets for this market.
On the other hand, there has been a boost in arrivals from HTA’s core U.S. market due to an influx of air seats, he said.
“As our airline partners monitor their airfares to meet load factors, it is important that we work together to sustain demand to support these routes and ensure that they remain in market,” Williams said.
Maintaining the momentum and growth in visitor spending and arrivals is important for the state’s overall economy, and HTA will continue to work collaboratively with industry partners and global contractors to ensure that Hawai‘i’s tourism economy continues to thrive in 2015, he said.