Visitor satisfaction drops slightly
U.S. and Japanese visitors were slightly less satisfied with their experience in Hawai'i in 2006 than the year before, according to a survey released yesterday.
About two-thirds, 66.6 percent, of U.S. visitors rated their most recent trip to Hawai'i as excellent, according to the 2006 Visitor Satisfaction and Activity Report released by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. That was down from 67.4 percent in the 2005 survey. The satisfaction rating was as high as 72.4 percent in 2003.
A total of 3,328 U.S. visitors responded to surveys mailed following visits to Hawai'i last year. The sampling error for U.S. visitors was between 2.3 and 2.5 percent.
The state also surveyed 3,366 Japanese visitors. Japanese visitors are less inclined to give a top rating; only 51.7 percent of the visitors said their trip was excellent, which was down from 53 percent in 2005.
Still, that number was up slightly from the past few years. In 2002 only 48.7 percent of Japanese surveyed said their trip was excellent. The sampling error for the Japanese survey was 1.7 percent.
State Tourism Liaison Marsha Wienert said Hawai'i should be proud of its ability to maintain a high level of visitor satisfaction. Tourism generates more than $12 billion in annual economic activity statewide.
"High satisfaction will ensure a strong visitor industry," Wienert said in a news release. "Satisfying visitors' needs and expectations encourages return trips and results in a higher likelihood to recommend Hawai'i to others."
A majority of visitors from the U.S. West (88.4 percent), U.S. East (86.7 percent), Canada (84.8 percent) and Europe (76.1 percent) said they were very likely to recommend Hawai'i as a vacation place to their friends and family.
More than two-thirds (69 percent) of Japanese visitors also said they were very likely to recommend Hawai'i.
The survey also include island-specific information. O'ahu, for example, was frequented by visitors who shopped in department stores and hotel stores.
Visitors to Kaua'i were more likely to take helicopter or airplane tours than visitors on other islands.