Tourism rising

LIHUE — While the growth in August was not as strong as in previous months, Hawaii’s visitor industry continues to exceed 2014 records in spending and arrivals.

Spending reached $10.3 billion for the first eight months of 2015 and contributed $1.1 billion in state tax revenue.

Visitor expenditures on Kauai increased 15.5 percent (to $1.1 billion), which was boosted by the growth in visitor arrivals (up 4.5 percent to 802,554) and air seats into Lihue (up 5.2 percent to 473,200). Per person per day spending also saw a double-digit increase of 12.2 percent, which helped the island maintain its momentum for the first eight months of 2015.

“In addition to pacing at record-breaking levels, air seats to the Hawaiian Islands are at an all-time high, boosting arrivals from most of our markets,”said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO, Hawaii Tourism Authority. “And while we are pleased with this continued growth for the lead economic driver for the state, we are monitoring various conditions that could impact our industry.”

Fuel prices have been dropping, the international stock market continues to be in-flux, and economic conditions in both Europe and Asia have been unstable. All of these factors could have a potential impact on spending and arrivals to the state, Szigeti said.

“Maintaining the level of growth we have been experiencing over the last few years will be a challenge,” he said.

Arrivals by air to the Hawaiian Islands set a new record for August, with an increase of 2.9 percent to 755,863 visitors, according to preliminary statistics released Monday by HTA.

For August, visitor expenditures on Kauai totaled $130.4 million, a 10.2 percent increase over August 2014. The island saw 103,358 visitors in August, a 2.3 percent increase, who stayed an average 7.1 days. People spent, on average, $176.4 per day, an 8.4 percent increase.

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