As the State of Hawaii moves into the latter part of 2012, the tourism industry continues to show improvement though in some cases, these increases have slowed down over the last month. This less dramatic time was to be expected during the fall season. The most important markers of forward and positive movement did however continue to rise. With indicators such as increased expenditures and overall arrivals showing continued growth, the final months of 2012 should help finish out the year in strong form.
The largest overall growth was seen with higher expenditures for September of 2012, moving up 15.6% as compared to the previous year. This was attributed to a higher daily spending average combined with a larger number of visitors to the state and in some cases, a longer length of stay.
This additional visitor spending affected each of the major islands. Kauai showed the highest growth for the month of September in expenditures, just shy of 42% compared to last year. Oahu recorded an almost 12% increase during September while Maui saw just over 13% in additional visitor spending for the month compared to 2011. The Big Island of Hawaii offered a 17.1% increase in visitor expenses during September. Year to date, expenditures have increased by 19.5% compared to last year overall for the State of Hawaii.
Arrivals for the State of Hawaii increased by 6.1% overall during the month of September with many of the larger islands contributing to the overall improvement. Visitors to Oahu offered a 7.3% increase while Kauai increased by 7.2% compared to last year. Maui saw a slight increase in arrivals of 2.4%. The Big Island offered a slight decline overall for the month of September of 3.2%. This was the first decline following nine consecutive months of growth in arrivals for the island. This change was attributed to fewer visitors from major US market areas such as the East and West coasts. As mentioned above, expenditures still increased for the Big Island of Hawaii. The Hawaiian Islands have seen an overall increase in arrivals of 9.6% for the first nine months of 2012 compared to the same time frame in 2011.
As the graph below indicates, both arrivals and visitor expenditures are continuing to rise however, expenditures are increasing with greater percentages.
Other areas of note include fewer visitors traveled to the state for weddings, meetings, conventions and incentives along with fewer honeymoon guests. Time share arrivals increased by nearly 11% compared to last year, year to date and the number of guests making their own travel arrangements grew by over 10 % from last year for the same time frame.
With the final quarter of 2012 still to come, 2012 appears to have its strength and integrity from the first three quarters holding strong.