HONOLULU - April was a record-setting month for Hawaii in visitor expenditures and arrivals, and Maui County shared in the good news, according to preliminary statistics released by the Hawai'i Tourism Authority on Thursday.
Total expenditures by visitors who came to the state in April climbed 26.8 percent over the previous year to $1.17 billion, a $246.5 million increase. That was the highest total expenditures on record for the month, HTA said.
There were 647,194 visitors in April, an 11.3 percent increase in total visitor arrivals over the previous year. This also was a new record in arrivals for the month, surpassing the previous high of 618,230 visitors in April 2006.
The record number of visitors plus higher daily spending for the month - up 10.4 percent to $194 per person - helped fuel the record total visitor expenditures, the report said.
All Hawaiian Islands saw growth in total visitor expenditures and arrivals for April, the report said.
For Maui island, total April visitor expenditures rose 23.9 percent to $306.6 million from $247.3 million in April 2011. For the year through April, total visitor expenditures are running $1.3 billion, up 17.5 percent from the same period last year.
April arrivals to Maui rose 4 percent to 186,026 while daily spending was noticeably higher, up 20.8 percent to $216.80 compared to April 2011. The daily spending figure was the highest in the state; the statewide average was $193.80, up 10.4 percent from the previous year.
An increase in arrivals from Japan, 44.4 percent; U.S. East, 3.2 percent; and U.S. West, 1.4 percent "contributed a significant portion of Maui's growth," the report said.
The average length of stay was down 1.4 percent from the previous April to 7.6 days.
For the first four months of 2012, total arrivals to Maui grew 5.9 percent to 773,605 people, compared to 2011. The average length of stay is up 1.2 percent to 8.54 days for the same period.
For Molokai, total visitor expenditures were $1.9 million in April, compared to $1 million in April 2011. Visitor arrivals for April were 5,032, up 7.8 percent from 4,669 visitors.
For the first four months of the year, Molokai total visitor expenditures are $9.8 million, down 1.7 percent from the same period last year and total visitor arrivals are 18,987, down 12 percent.
Lanai's total visitor expenditures were $10.2 million for April, up 63.5 percent from the same month a year ago. Total visitor arrivals for the month were 7,048, up 4.9 percent.
For the first four months, Lanai total visitor expenditures are at $32.9 million, up 5.9 percent from the same period last year. Total visitor arrivals were at 26,387 through April, down 6 percent.
Statewide, arrivals from the U.S. West, Japan and U.S. East grew in April.
Arrivals by air from the U.S. West rose 3 percent in April to 277,809 visitors. Total U.S. West visitor expenditures were up 13.1 percent to $401.1 million in April, the eighth straight month of growth since September.
Japanese arrivals continued to rebound statewide in April with an increase of 36.2 percent to 86,685 visitors, though well below the April 1997 record of 157,640 Japanese visitors. Total Japanese visitor expenditures in April jumped 45.8 percent to $153.7 million.
U.S. East arrivals by air grew 1.8 percent to 122,792 visitors in April, but lower daily spending resulted in a 2 percent decline in total U.S. East expenditures to $206.2 million in April.
Canadian arrivals increased 3.3 percent to 45,937 visitors, while total Canadian visitor expenditures rose 5.5 percent to $84 million, continuing a trend of year-over-year growth since January 2011.
Also contributing to the strong growth in April was a doubling of visitors who came by cruise ships to 30,972 visitors.
Total visitor expenditures for the first four months of 2012 rose 16.7 percent from the same period last year to $4.78 billion. Total arrivals grew 9.4 percent to 2,632,149 visitors in the first four months of 2012, with increases from all visitor markets.
Among the larger Hawaiian Islands, Oahu had the strongest growth in arrivals for April at 12.9 percent when compared to April 2011. Oahu's higher daily spending, up 6.5 percent, also contributed to a 31.5 percent jump in total visitor expenditures to $589.8 million. For the first four months of 2012, arrivals to Oahu rose 10.2 percent and total visitor expenditures grew 19 percent to $2.3 billion when compared with the same period last year.
Total visitor expenditures on the Big Island grew 23.7 percent to $141.4 million in April. Arrivals increased 7.3 percent compared to April 2011, led by a 67.9 percent growth from Japan and an 8.5 percent increase from Canada. Total arrivals to the island increased 8 percent in the first four months of 2012, while total visitor expenditures grew 12.2 percent to $627.6 million.
In April, a 4.6 percent growth in arrivals to Kauai and higher daily spending of 1.9 percent contributed to a 10.2 percent increase in total visitor expenditures to $109 million. It was the 17th consecutive month of positive growth in total visitor spending for Kauai. For the first four months of 2012, arrivals to Kauai rose 9.2 percent compared to the same period in 2011, while total visitor expenditures grew 9.4 percent to $436.6 million.