Visitor arrivals, spending on Kauai drops in May

LIHUE — The number of visitors to Kauai and how much they’re spending dipped in May.

According to the latest numbers from the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Kauai greeted 95,643 guests in May, down 2.5 percent from 98,111 in May 2015. Total visitor expenditures on Kauai in May, $125.5 million, was down 7.8 percent from $136.1 million in the same month last year.

Statewide, total visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands in May rose 1.3 percent from a year ago to 718,913 visitors, according to HTA.

“Visitor arrivals and expenditures year-to-date show that Hawaii is still ahead of last year’s record-setting pace,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO.

Through the first five months of 2016, Kauai had 468,553 visitors, down 1.4 percent from 475,433 for the same time frame in 2015. Total expenditures through May were at $663.7 million, down 1.4 percent from $673.2 million for the first five months of 2015. While fewer visitors arrived on The Garden Isle and spent less through May, they were staying longer, 7.91 days compared to 7.7 last year.

Among the four larger Hawaiian Islands, visitor arrivals in May increased for Oahu (plus 1.5 percent), however visitor expenditures declined (down 7.7 percent) from a year ago. Maui saw growth in both visitor arrivals (up 3.5 percent) and visitor expenditures (up 4.3 percent). The island of Hawaii recorded fewer arrivals (down 1.8 percent), but saw a gain in visitor expenditures (up 9.3 percent).

For the first five months of 2016, total air capacity into Hawaii grew 1.8 percent to 4,996,164 seats.

All major airports saw growth in air seats: Honolulu (plus 1 percent), Kahului (plus 2.6 percent), Kona (plus 7 percent), Hilo (plus 4.1 percent) and Lihue (plus 3.1 percent) compared to the first five months of 2015.

“We are also closely monitoring the situation in Europe and how that may affect travel,” Szigeti said. “It’s too early to know precisely how the situation there will affect the global economy, including tourism related impacts.”

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