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Hawaii Visitor Spending Generated Billions in February

Hawaii’s tourism industry is generating record income for the state and millions in tax revenue.

According to data released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, visitor spending generated $1.52 Billion in February. That figure represents a gain of 12.7 percent compared to one year ago.

The spending is just one example of the state’s booming tourism industry. Total arrivals to Hawaii in February increased 10.3 percent, a figure that was supported by a growth in arrivals by air service (up 10.3 percent to 764,043) and an increased number of cruise ships (up 8.4 percent from the same time last year).

If more evidence is needed that Hawaii is a hot ticket, the total visitor days to the islands grew 8.5 percent in February versus one year ago, as did the average daily census, which is the number of visitors on any given day. In February the census figure was 252,965.

“February was an outstanding month for Hawaii’s tourism industry that reflected the combined impact of strong travel demand and increased air access from our primary and secondary markets,” George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), said in a statement. “The $1.52 billion in visitor spending that poured into the State’s economy also generated $375 million in state tax revenue, which puts Hawaii more than $29 million ahead of last year’s pace through two months.”

Hawaii’s significant growth in visitor spending was generated by its major source markets—the mainland U.S., Japan, and Canada.

Spending by visitors from the U.S. West market, in particular, increased 5.2 percent in February to $494.4 million. A sizeable increase in spending also came from the U.S. East market, which was up 14.4 percent to $409.8 million in February.

Travelers from Japan meanwhile generated 15.6 percent more spending in February, which translated into $202.9 million. Finally, revenue from Canadian travelers was up 9.7 percent to $148.9 million.

Szigeti said there was also a strong resurgence from the other international markets where there’s been a regular promotion of the Hawaiian islands.

The combined visitor spending from all other international markets increased sharply, up 26.8 percent to $264 million. This upward movement was boosted by a 20.9 percent increase in arrivals.

Though all four island counties benefited from the growing wave of international visitors, Oahu, in particular, saw the largest monthly increase year-over-year, said Szigeti. Visitor spending on Oahu rose by 19.6 percent to $674 million for the month of February, which was by far the largest monthly increase year-over-year for Oahu in several years.

“Maintaining the strength of Hawaii’s tourism industry is a team effort that requires the collaboration of everyone with a stake in its future,” said Szigeti. “We appreciate the continued support of our industry partners and applaud the hardworking tourism professionals who contribute every day to the industry’s success through their dedication to service, hospitality and sharing the aloha spirit with our visitors.”

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