Visitor spending rises on Kauai

LIHUE — Kauai saw an increase in visitor spending in September.

Tourist spending rose nearly 23 percent last month, generating $121 million on the Garden Isle, up from $98.7 million in September 2015. For the year so far, visitor spending on Kauai totaled $1.25 billion, up 7.7 percent from 1.16 billion for the first nine months of 2015.

Last month, the Aloha State saw its fourth straight month of year-over-year increase in total visitor spending. Overall, visitors spent $1.2 billion, a 10.4 percent increase from September 2015.

“A strong September highlighted by new records for the month in visitor arrivals and spending means the first three quarters of 2016 was the best ever for our tourism industry, and keeps Hawaii ahead of pace to set new annual records,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of HTA. “This is welcome news for our state, as every business, resident and charitable organization benefits in one way or another by Hawaii having a successful tourism economy.”

Kauai saw 89,171 visitors in September, up 4.6 percent from the same month last year. For the year through September, visitor arrivals total 897,087, up slightly from the same time frame in 2015.

Statewide average daily spending rose to $203 per person, a 4.6 percent increase in September 2016, as visitors from most markets spent more on a daily basis. Visitors from Canada, Japan and the United States’ East Coast and West Coast spent more money last September than the year prior.

Total visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands also set a new record for September with 666,605 visitors, a 3 percent increase from a year ago.

September marked 20 consecutive months of year-over-year growth in arrivals, extending a streak from February 2015. Total visitor days rose by 5.6 percent.

“A bonus of our tourism industry’s success is the positive impact it has on Hawaii’s tax revenue base. Through the first three quarters, Hawaii’s tourism industry generated $1.24 billion in state tax revenue, which is an increase of $43.6 million over last year,” Szigeti said. “These are funds that are vital to the economic health of our state and help support government services essential to our quality of life.”

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