U.S. West, Kaua’i-only visitor numbers see big August jumps

Nearly 100,000 visitors came to Kaua’i last month, and over 680,000 for the first eight months this year.

Both those figures were down compared to the same periods last year, but numbers of visitors to Kaua’i from the West Coast, and those choosing Kaua’i alone as a Hawai’i destination, both surged in August.

The number of Kaua’i-only visitors in August, 37,439, was up 5.8 percent compared to the total in August of last year. The number of Kaua’i-only visitors last month was around 37.5 percent of the total number of Kaua’i August visitors, 99,333.

U.S. West visitors to Kaua’i (from west of the Rocky Mountains) numbered 50,851, up 6.3 percent from 47,827 in August of last year, while Kaua’i-only U.S. West visitors last month numbered 27,716, up 8.4 percent from 25,570 in August 2001.

For the first eight months this year, 307,493 U.S. West visitors arrived on Kaua’i, and 165,682 chose to stay only on Kaua’i. Both of those figures represented increases compared to the same period last year.

U.S. West visitors accounted for more than half of all domestic arrivals, both for August and the first eight months this year, and helped the island see positive growth in August totals of both total domestic visitors and Kaua’i-only domestic visitors.

For the first eight months, though, numbers of domestic visitors to Kaua’i were down around 2 percent compared to the same period last year.

Numbers of Canadian visitors to Kaua’i were up for both August and the first eight months this year, compared to the same periods in 2001, according to figures from the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.

For the first eight months of this year, Kaua’i greeted 683,232 visitors, off 6.5 percent from the 731,081 arrivals recorded over the same period last year. Kaua’i-only visitors were down for the first eight months this year, too, by 1.5 percent, to 249,772 this year from 253,605 during the same period in 2001.

Total visitors to the state last month numbered 616,394, down 4.5 percent from 645,701 recorded in August of last year. For the first eight months this year, some 4,332,582 visitors came to Hawai’i, off 7.3 percent compared to 4,676,015 arrivals in the same period last year.

“We have seen a marked improvement in the overall year-to-date figures since May, indicating that the tourism market continues to recover,” said Dr. Seiji Naya, DBEDT director.

“But this improvement is largely from the domestic market, with international figures showing an ongoing weakness,” Naya noted.

Statewide, the average length of stay last month was 13.23 days for Canadian visitors, 10.54 days for those from the U.S. East region, 9.41 days for visitors from the U.S. West, and 7.05 days for visitors from Japan.

On Kaua’i, the average domestic visitor stayed 6.90 days last month, while international visitors stayed an average of 3.64 days. For the first eight months this year, domestic arrivals stayed on Kaua’i an average of 6.76 days, and international visitors stayed an average of 4.17 days, according to the DBEDT figures.

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