Visitors numbers rising

HONOLULU — For the first half of 2016, total visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands increased 3.3 percent to 4.4 million visitors, while visitor expenditures rose 1.6 percent to $7.7 billion, according to preliminary statistics released Thursday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

“Hawaii’s tourism industry achieved record totals for the first two quarters,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO. “Importantly, these results also produced a record $820.7 million in state tax revenue for the first two quarters, revenue that strengthens our state’s ability to provide programs and services benefiting residents statewide.

Kauai saw a strong June, according to HTA numbers.

It had 114,358 visitors in June, up 5.9 percent from 107,966 visitors in June 2015. Total visitor expenditures in June on Kauai rose 5.5 percent to $157.1 million from $148.9 million. Visitors stayed, on average, 7.64 days in June, while spending $179.8 a day.

For the first half of the year, through June, Kauai has had 582,911 visitors, down slightly, .1 percent, from 583,399 for the first half of 2015.

Total visitor expenditures through the first six months on Kauai were $820.8 million, down .2 percent from $822.1 million for the first half of 2015.

Visitors stayed longer, an average of 7.85 days in the first six months of the year on Kauai, up 1.7 percent, but spent less per day, $179.3, down 1.8 percent from $182.5.

For the four larger Hawaiian Islands in the first half of 2016, Maui (up 3 percent), Oahu (up 2.9 percent) and Hawaii Island (up 0.9 percent) saw growth in visitor arrivals. Visitor expenditures increased on Maui (4 percent to $2.3 billion) and Hawaii Island (9.1 percent to $1 billion), and declined on Oahu (1.5 percent to $3.5 billion).

“We are especially heartened by these results through the first half of the year, as our two largest tourism markets, U.S. West and U.S. East, carried the bulk of Hawaii’s success, bolstered by the new international markets that HTA has been working hard to develop,” Szigeti said. “Hawaii also had strong results for the month of June, infusing us with confidence that the peak summer travel season will prove to be very fruitful.”

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