According to Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) Tourism Research Director Daniel Nahoopii, Hawaii has enjoyed consistent month-over-month growth in visitor arrivals since January of 2011. As South Maui real estate specialists, we always encourage the study of long term trends, not just in our small island real estate market, but in all economic reports. A consistent two year climb in arrivals is a perfect example of a reliable trend, which is why many are looking to buy a second home on Maui.
In February, both arrivals and spending were up throughout the state. Spending was up by 10 percent compared to the same month last year to $1.22 billion. The HTA believes this growth is due to an increase in daily spending by 6.6 percent for a total of $198 per person, per day. Another factor was the 7.8 percent increase in arrivals to 675,517 visitors.
Arrivals from the U.S. West jumped by 8.2 percent to 239,963 visitors, and from the U.S. East by 0.5 percent to 144.594 visitors, year over year. Spending from the West increased by 19.7 percent to $382.5 million while the East increased by 8.2 percent to $311.7 million. The increase in spending from the U.S. East is surprising, considering how small their arrival increase was, but all that tells you is that if people go on vacation, they have more money to spend.
Japan arrivals were up, but spending was down just a bit, along with length of stay. Canada arrivals and spending were up, but their length of stay was also a bit shorter. Arrivals from the other markets increased by 26.4 percent and spending was up 11.8 percent to $181 million. Visitors from China tripled year over year, which is partly because the lunar new year fell on February.
Interestingly, cruise ship arrivals were 44.7 percent higher than last year, at 25,442 visitors.