Categorized | Destinations

Hawaii visitor spending jumps in 2010 from 2009…

Posted on 27 January 2011

Tourists and other visitors to Hawaii spent $11.4 billion last year, a jump of 16 percent over 2009 figures, according to a report released Wednesday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.


The monthly report also found that statewide visitor spending in December, $1.1 billion, outpaced expenditures in the same month of 2009 by 17.9 percent.


Authority officials attributed the growth in visitor spending last month to higher average daily expenditures and an increasing number of tourists, compared with December 2009.


In a statement, authority President Mike McCartney said the statistics indicate tourism in Hawaii is gaining momentum, as leisure and business travel picks up.


“The numbers for December represent the eighth consecutive month of double-digit increases in overall spending,” he said.


But he also warned the state has not achieved the heights of 2007, when visitors spent $35 million a day. That dropped to $27 million per day in 2009 and rose to $31 million a day last year.


“We have a way to go to achieve full recovery,” he said.


McCartney also stressed the importance of marketing, two days after Gov. Neil Abercrombie proposed capturing at least $10 million from HTA’s $52 million annual marketing plan to help the state close a $800 million budget shortfall over the next 2 1/2 years.


“By remaining focused in our strategic direction and brand management efforts, HTA will continue to guide tourism to help lead the economic recovery for the entire state,” he said.


The HTA report found that more than 7 million visitors arrived in Hawaii last year, an 8.7 percent increase over 2009. About 6.8 million tourists came in 2008, but 7.6 million arrived in 2007 and 2006.


All of Hawaii’s islands saw more visitors last year compared to 2009. Lanai saw the biggest jump of 12.1 percent, followed by Maui at 10.4 percent, Oahu at 7.7 percent, the Big Island at 6.1 percent, Molokai at 4.4 percent, and Kauai at 3.8 percent.

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