Fewer visitors, more spending

Fewer people came to Kauai through the first 10 months of this year compared to last, but those that did came to spend money.

According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, visitor arrivals to Kauai slightly declined year-to-date through October (-1.1 percent to 930,062 visitors), though visitor spending on the island remains strong reaching $1.2 billion, up 6.9 percent, for the first 10 months of the year. Increases in daily visitor spending, up 6.5 percent to $172.5, and longer average length of stay, an increase of 1.5 percent to 7.69 days, supported growth on Kauai.

“The HTA continues to monitor slight declines in average length of stay and its potential impact on future expenditure growth,” said Ronald Williams, HTA, interim chief executive officer. “As the U.S. dollar continues to strengthen against international currencies, amidst increasing competition from closer and more affordable destinations, we also anticipate changes in the booking pace through the second quarter of 2015.”

Total expenditures by visitors who came to the Hawaiian Islands in October 2014 increased 3.3 percent, compared to October 2013, to $1.1 billion, according to HTA. Total arrivals rose 3 percent to 659,821 visitors but the average length of stay was shorter for core visitor markets. The average daily spending of $198 per person was similar to October 2013.

Visitor expenditures on Kauai for October gained 19 percent to $118 million. Arrivals fell 2 percent to 85,248 visitors. However, their average daily spending of $187 per person was 20 percent higher than last October.

Year-to-date through October 2014, Hawaii’s visitor industry has generated $1.3 billion in tax revenue for the state or $27 million more than the same period last year.

Williams said the HTA continues to work with its marketing contractors to enhance and market the value of a Hawaiian vacation, by increasing awareness about each island’s unique attributes and creating innovative promotions to attract first-time and repeat visitors from both core and developing markets.

“We look forward to continual growth for Hawaii’s tourism economy and long-term sustainability for the state,” he said.

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