LIHUE — Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $12.5 billion in the first three quarters of 2017, an increase of 7.1 percent compared to the same period last year, according to preliminary statistics released Thursday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
Total arrivals rose 4.9 percent to 7 million visitors compared to a year ago, boosted by growth in arrivals from both air service and cruise ships.
“The hard work by Hawaii’s tourism industry professionals has produced strong results in the first three quarters of this year and continues to contribute significantly to the health of the state’s economy,” George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the HTA.
“The growth in visitor spending is broad-based with double-digit increases reported for Hawaii’s four major source markets, U.S. West, U.S. East, Japan and Canada,” he said. “Accordingly, the economies of our four island counties are continuing to benefit, led by the island of Hawaii with a gain of 16.4 percent in visitor spending that is a direct result of the additional air access introduced this year.”
Kauai continues to enjoy a strong year of tourism.
For September, Kauai had 97,181 visitors, an increase of 9.1 percent over September 2016.
For the first nine months of this year, Kauai has welcomed 963,752 visitors, an increase of 7.3 percent over the same time last year.
Visitors spent $127.2 million in September on Kauai, an increase of 1.9 percent over September 2016.
For the first nine months of this year, visitors have spent $1.4 billion on Kauai, a 10.1 percent increase over last year.
Szigeti said September featured key events important to Hawaii’s tourism future. Japan Airlines relaunched daily flights between Tokyo and Kona for the first time in seven years. The Global Tourism Summit brought together industry partners from Hawaii and around the world to develop new business opportunities.
“Hawaii tourism’s ongoing success is a credit to the aloha spirit, goodwill and professionalism that our industry partners extend to visitors who come from around the world to experience a place and culture unmatched anywhere else,’ he said.