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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hawaii visitor spending drops 15% in May, arrivals down 6.9%


Advertiser Staff

The amount of money visitors to Hawaii spent in May fell again by 15 percent, or $133 million from May 2008 to $754.8 million but the decline in the number of people traveling to the state was less pronounced, state tourism researchers said today.

The number of visitors arriving by air and ship fell 6.9 percent, to 516,204.
Among the top four visitor markets one shot up. May 2009 air arrivals from the U.S. West rose 4 percent from last May, the first increase since February 2008.
Air arrivals from the U.S. East fell 8.9 percent, Japan dropped 15.5 percent and arrivals by air from Canada decreased 12.4 percent, the biggest drop in arrivals for the Canadian market since April 2004, when it fell 13.3 percent.
Tourism businesses have slowed the decline by discounting rates to lure visitors. And that number is reflected in the total expenditures by visitors.
Those who came by air in the first five months of 2009 spent $4.1 billion, 16.4 percent lower compared to year-to-date 2008, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
Total visitor days for air and cruise visitors in May 2009 were down 5.4 percent from the same month last year.
The average length of stay by these visitors was 8.90 days, similar to 8.76 days in May 2008.
The plunge in total visitor expenditures for May 2009 resulted from lower average daily visitor spending ($165 per person, down from $185 per person in May 2008) and a 6.4 percent decline in visitor arrivals by air to 514,004 visitors.