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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Visitor spending falls to $843.9M in June, down 16.1% from year ago

By Robbie Dingeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii’s tourism industry felt the pinch again in June with visitor spending falling to $843.9 million, a 16.1 percent decline from the same month a year earlier, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority .

The number of visitors to Hawaii arriving by air also continued to slide, falling 5.2 percent to 550,421. Average daily visitor spending fell to $156 per person from $180 per person in June 2008.
For the first half of this year, spending by visitors arriving by air fell to $4.97 billion, an $882.2 — or 15.1 percent — decline from the same period a year earlier.
Among the top four visitor markets, air arrivals from the U.S. West increased in June for the second consecutive month, up 4.9 percent from a year earlier. Arrivals from the U.S. East dropped 4 percent. Japanese air arrivals declined 32.8 percent, the largest decrease in arrivals for the Japanese market since May 2003 when they fell 36.6 percent. Arrivals by air from Canada were 10.5 percent lower compared to June 2008.
Total visitor days in June 2009 fell 2.9 percent from the same month last year. The average length of stay by these visitors increased slightly to 9.85 days from 9.61 days in June 2008. Total arrivals by air decreased 5.2 percent to 550,421 visitors, continuing a decline since March 2008. No visitors came to the islands by cruise ships in both June 2009 and 2008.
“June's results were not unexpected, as global economic conditions are continuing to affect Hawaii’s visitor industry and our economy,” said State Tourism Liaison, Marsha Wienert. "Additionally, concerns about the H1N1 influenza contributed to the large decrease in international travel, especially visitor arrivals from Japan.”
“The growth in visitors from the U.S. West in June was very positive news and a result of very attractive travel packaging and increased marketing efforts in our base market,” Wienert said. “The health of the visitor industry and our economy through the remainder of 2009 will depend not only on visitor arrivals, but also on visitor spending.”