May was good month for Maui tourism

Visitors bask in the South Maui sun in this photo from 2017. May was a good month for Maui tourism, with visitor arrivals up 7.3 percent over the same month last year. -- The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Maui hotels and resorts posted a rosy May with visitor arrivals by air up 7.3 percent over the same month last year, visitor spending up double-digits and revenues per room at $259 — the highest in the state — the Hawaii Tourism Authority said in two reports last week.

Maui average daily hotel room rates were the highest in the state at $402.03, led by Wailea’s $612.37 rate. Those rates were 11.1 percent and 13.5 percent higher than May 2017, respectively.

Island hotel occupancy was a flat at 79.1 percent, though Wailea’s occupancy was 88.2 percent, up 2 percentage points from last May.

Visitor spending grew 13.7 percent to $403.1 million in May with daily spending up 5.2 percent to $226 per person. Through May, spending was $2.27 billion, up 12.6 percent.

Visitor arrivals hit 238,268 in May, driven by an 11.1 percent increase from the island’s top market, the U.S. West. Other locations showing positive results were Japan, 5.7 percent; U.S. East, Maui’s second largest market, up 4.3 percent; and Canada, up slightly, 0.7 percent.

Visitor arrivals through May were up 6.7 percent from the same period in 2017 to 1.2 million.

Other data in the report for May:

• Maui-only visitors from domestic locations grew 12.6 percent to 145,166.

• Air seats to Kahului Airport rose 16.8 percent to 210,063.

• Cruise ship visitors dropped 15.4 percent to 17,187.

• International visitors by air to Maui fell 6.4 percent to 29,047.

Statewide, visitors spent $1.4 billion in May with arrivals growing 7 percent to 804,135.

For Molokai, visitor expenditures were down 21.4 percent in May to $2.1 million. Visitor arrivals were down as well, 3.3 percent, to 4,271.

On the other hand, Lanai’s visitor spending grew 12.6 percent to $8.1 million in May, boosted by a 6.8 percent hike in arrivals to 6,443.

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