Visitor spending and arrivals in Hawaii are pacing ahead of 2012, a record-breaking year, for the first five months of the year, according to President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority Mike McCartney.
"We were pleased visitor arrivals increased nearly 4 percent in May, resulting in a 5.7 percent growth (184,559 more visitors) year-to-date. While visitor spending leveled off in May, tourism still generated an additional $293 million (+5.1 percent) year-to-date, contributing an incremental $30.6 million in tax revenue for the state," said McCartney.
McCartney says consumers have become more cautious of their spending as the price of a Hawaii vacation continues to increase, resulting in a shorter length of stay and reductions in daily visitor spending.
"In order to maintain market share, the HTA continues to work with its airline and other industry partners on developing marketing programs that stimulate interest and drive demand to all of the Hawaiian Islands," said McCartney. "Through these efforts, we have been able to increase visitor distribution throughout the state, which has resulted in positive arrivals to each of the major Hawaiian Islands both in May and year-to-date."
McCartney says it is important that we maintain and grow the demand for the 10.7 million scheduled nonstop air seats that come to Hawaii, which equates to 954 flights per week through 20 carriers that service 54 cities.
Another priority for the HTA is to reestablish Kona as an international port of entry to increase direct access to the neighbor islands.