LIHUE — The Hawaii Tourism Authority says the number of visitors to the state rose nearly 3 percent in October compared to the year before.
The state tourism agency said Thursday spending by travelers topped $1.3 billion during the month. That’s an increase of more than 4 percent compared to the same month last year.
The number of visitors exceeded 730,000, a 2.8 percent increase.
On Kauai, visitor arrivals in October totaled 100,476, a 6.9 percent increase from October 2016. For the year through October, Kauai has welcomed 1,064,228 guests, a 7.3 percent increase from the first 10 months of last year.
Visitor spending on Kauai rose to $141 million in October, up 4.4 percent from October 2016. For the year through October, visitor spending totaled $1.6 billion, a 9.5 percent increase for the same time period in 2016.
Arrivals on Kauai included more visitors from Japan (up 49.5 percent), U.S. East ( up 7.6 percent), Canada ( up 7.1 percent) and U.S. West (up 5.3 percent) compared to October 2016.
The U.S. mainland and Japan both sent more tourists to the islands. But the U.S. East Coast had the biggest gains.
Visitors from the eastern part of the mainland jumped almost 8 percent. And they spent 13 percent more while in the state. CEO George Szigeti credited the agency’s work to boost travel demand from New York City and nearby areas for the increase.
“The impact of strengthening air access is reflected in the results for the island of Hawaii, which shows the value of Japan Airlines re-launching daily service between Tokyo and Kona in mid-September,” he said. “Seeing the island’s visitor spending increase by 15.3 percent and arrivals grow by 12.3 percent in October are phenomenal results for a month that is an off-peak period for travel to Hawaii.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.