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Hawaii's tourism economy reaches third consecutive landmark year
30/Jan/2015
HONOLULU, Hawaii - Statement attributable to Ronald Williams, Chief Executive Officer Hawaii Tourism Authority:

For the third consecutive year, despite slower growth, Hawaii's tourism economy has reached record highs in both visitor spending and arrivals. Visitor expenditures to the state reached $14.75 billion in 2014 (+2.3%), exceeding our target of $14.69 billion. We also recorded 8,282,680 visitors to the Hawaiian Islands in 2014 (+1.3%), reporting year-over-year growth and surpassing our target of 8,250,937 visitors.

By increasing visitor arrivals and spending to the majority of the Hawaiian Islands we have been able to grow the benefits of tourism statewide, reinforcing our efforts to diversify Hawaii's tourism economy by distributing visitors across the state.

Visitor arrivals from Hawaii's core North America market picked up during the second half of the year, supported by increased seat inventory, which provided more options for connectivity and resulted in lower airfares due to increased competition in the market. As oil prices remain low, airlines continue to improve their operational costs, which we anticipate will lead to continued growth in air seats and arrivals from North America through the first half of this year.

The Japan market, our largest international market, continues to slow as visitor arrivals are down slightly, along with average length of stay and daily spending, affecting total expenditures from this market. This slowdown is largely due to an unstable economy and weakening Japanese yen, which we continue to actively monitor and respond to in an effort to sustain this important market.

Our smaller international markets however are faring well. Arrivals from Oceania (+5.9%), Other Asia (+8.5%) and Europe (+4.6%) continue to increase as we work towards cultivating the long-term sustainability for these developing markets. We continue to monitor changes in each of our markets on an ongoing basis and will adjust our marketing plans as needed, to maintain a strong tourism economy throughout 2015.

The HTA, together with our global contractors and industry partners, will work to highlight and enhance Hawaii's unique experiences that create a memorable, one-of-a-kind Hawaiian vacation. We also continue to work with our government officials and community members to ensure that we balance the needs of our residents and the visitor industry, so that we may continue to boost our economy while enriching our way of life.

Thanks to the hard work and collaboration of all our industry partners and stakeholders, we are pleased to have achieved a successful 2014 for Hawaii's tourism economy. Let's continue working together to maintain momentum in 2015.

A RECORD 8.3 MILLION VISITORS CAME TO HAWAII IN 2014
TOTAL VISITOR EXPENDITURES GREW TO $14.7 BILLION

A total of 8,282,680 visitors came to the Hawaiian Islands in 2014, exceeding the 2013 record of 8,174,461 visitors by 1.3 percent, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Annual 2014 total visitor expenditures grew 2.3 percent to $14.7 billion. On average, 205,044 visitors were in the state on any given day in 2014 (average daily census), an increase of 1.1 percent from 2013.

For the month of December 2014, total visitor expenditures rose 3 percent (+$41.5 million) to $1.4 billion, boosted by a 6.2 percent growth in total arrivals (to765,267 visitors). The average daily spending of $191 per person was down from $195 per person in December 2013.

Annual 2014 Highlights:

Arrivals by air from the U.S. West rebounded in the second half of 2014 after 11 previous months of losses. In 2014, U.S. West arrivals grew 1.4 percent to 3,256,628 visitors. Combined with higher daily spending (+2.7% to $161 per person), total expenditures by U.S. West visitors rose 3.2 percent to $5 billion.

Growth in U.S. East arrivals (+1.1% to 1,719,798 visitors) and increased daily spending (+3.3% to $205 per person) led to a 4.1 percent gain in total visitor expenditures to $3.7 billion in 2014.

A shorter average length of stay (-2.3% to 5.80 days) among the 1,510,938 Japanese visitors who arrived (-0.5%) in 2014 contributed to a 2.9 percent drop in visitor expenditures to $2.4 billion.

Arrivals from Canada rose 1.3 percent to 523,534 visitors and expenditures totaled $1.1 billion (-0.5%) in 2014. Average daily spending by these visitors ($160 per person) was lower compared to 2013 ($164 per person).

Among the smaller visitor markets, there was growth in arrivals from Oceania (+5.9% to 376,704), Other Asia (+8.5% to 363,528) and Europe (+4.6% to 143,132), while arrivals from Latin America (+0.1% to 30,303 visitors) were similar to 2013 (see page 6). Combined expenditures by these visitors rose 5.3 percent to $2.6 billion.

A total of 123,071 visitors came by cruise ships in 2014, down 28 percent from the previous year (see page 6).

Visitor expenditures on Oahu declined (-3.4% to $7.1 billion) even though arrivals rose 2.3 percent to 5,159,078 visitors. Maui showed growth in both visitor expenditures (+11.6% to $4.1 billion) and arrivals (+1.6% to 2,397,307 visitors) compared to 2013.
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