Maui County sets a vistor spending record in January

Maui County visitor spending soared 18 percent to $548.5 million in January, the most expenditures in a single month ever recorded, according to a Hawai’i Tourism Authority report.

The spending spree was fueled by a 5.3 percent growth in visitor days and a 12 percent increase in average daily spending to $253 per person compared with January 2017, the authority reported. Also, visitor arrivals climbed 5.6 percent to 230,581.

There were more visitors from the West Coast (up 14.3 percent), Canada (up 7.8 percent) and the East Coast (up 5 percent), the authority said. Visitors from Japan were down 2.3 percent.

The county’s average daily visitor census rose 5.3 percent to 69,808 in January.

Statewide, visitor spending in January set a single-month record as well, rising to $1.69 billion, a 4.9 percent increase. Monthly spending records also were logged on Hawaii island, up 1.8 percent to $268.2 million, and Kauai, up 2.3 percent to $191.2 million. Spending on Oahu dipped 1.9 percent to $662 million.

Arrivals to the Hawaiian isles grew 5.4 percent to 796,483, with total visitor days up 4.1 percent.

West Coast visitors to the islands spent $589.4 million in January, an 8.3 percent increase. Statewide visitor arrivals from the West Coast were up 14 percent to 304,091.

Air service to Hawaii climbed 9.7 percent to 1,123,132 seats in January. By island, there were more seats flying to Hilo (up 63.6 percent), Lihue (up 42.6 percent), Kona (up 33.5 percent), Kahului (up 7.4 percent) and Honolulu (up 4.4 percent).

On Molokai, visitor spending fell 53.1 percent to $2.8 million in January. Arrivals to the Friendly Isle were down 5.3 percent to 5,243, and total visitor days were off 5.7 percent.

On Lanai, visitor expenditures rose 45.8 percent to $11.3 million. Arrivals increased 34.5 percent to 6,238, and total visitor days were up 48.4 percent — the most of any island in the state.

The tourism authority reported that, in January, nine out-of-state cruise ships brought 12,246 visitors to Hawaii, compared with 12 ships the carried 17,430 visitors in January 2017. Total cruise ship visitors decreased 19.5 percent to 21,409. (These included visitors who flew to the islands to board home-ported ships here.)

Six out of 10 cruise ship visitors had been to the Hawaiian Islands before.

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