Island visitor counts continue on record-breaking pace

A total of 2.1M visitors arrived by air on Maui in the first nine months

The Maui News

Maui appears to be on track to break 2016’s 2.6 million visitor mark based on visitor data after three quarters of 2017, which show a 3.2 increase over the same period last year, Hawai’i Tourism Authority data released last week shows.

A total of 2.1 million visitors arrived by air on Maui from January to September, up from the 2 million last year, the report released Thursday said.

Visitor spending on the island also was on track to top last year’s $4.5 billion record. The $3.5 billion spent in the first nine months of the year was 3.8 percent higher than the same period last year.

Maui has the second highest visitor spending in the state behind Honolulu’s $5.7 billion, but double Kauai’s $1.4 billion and Hawaii island’s $1.8 billion. Still, Maui’s increase was the smallest of the other major islands and the 7.1 percent increase statewide on $12.6 billion of spending.

The same can be said for arrivals by air, where Maui’s percentage increase lagged behind the state’s 4.9 percent increase and Oahu’s 4.2 percent, Kauai’s 7.3 percent and the Big Island’s 13.5 percent. Maui’s visitor arrivals were about half the size of Oahu’s (4.3 million) but about double Kauai’s (1 million) and Hawaii island’s (1.3 million) totals.

Maui saw a 18.2 percent increase over the nine months in cruise ship visitors, 170,100 total. And the island logged increases in all of the major sources of tourism including the U.S, West, up 3 percent to 1 million; U.S. East, up 6.4 percent to 578,900; Canada, up 5.8 percent to 182,500; and Japan, up 3 percent to 43,600.

For just the month of September, Canadian visitors grew 15.2 percent to 11,400.

The number of tourists visiting Maui only for the first nine months of the year grew 2.7 percent to 1.3 million.

For the month of September only, Maui visitor arrivals grew 2.8 percent to 200,000. Visitor spending rose 4.2 percent to $336 million.

Molokai logged a decline of 4.9 percent of visitors to 42,700 for the January-to-September period but a 10.8 percent increase in visitor spending to $25 million.

Over the same period, Lanai posted a 1.4 percent increase in visitors to 47,800 but a 6.7 percent decline in visitor spending to $58 million.