HONOLULU — Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $4.52 billion in the first quarter of 2019, a decrease of 2.4 percent compared to the first quarter of 2018, according to preliminary statistics released Thursday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
Tourism took a dip on Kauai, too.
Kauai had 123,730 visitors in March, down 1.3 percent from March 2018. For the first three months of the year, Kauai has welcomed 333,961 visitors, down 1.4 percent from the first three months of 2018.
Visitors spent $153.7 million on Kauai in March, a 9.6 percent drop from March 2018. For the first three months of the year, visitors spent $483.5 million on Kauai, a 4.2 percent drop from the same time frame in 2018.
Visitors are also cutting their trips to Kauai shorter. They spent 7.26 days on Kauai in March, down from 7.33 days in March 2018. For the first three months of the years, visitors spent 7.83 days on Kauai, down from 7.95 for the same time frame last year.
Statewide, in March, total visitor spending statewide declined 2.3 percent to $1.51 billion compared to March 2018.
Visitor arrivals in March grew more than 4 percent from 2018 to 939,064. Total visitor arrivals in the first quarter grew 2.6 percent to 2.5 million, compared to the first quarter of 2018.
Among the four larger islands, Oahu recorded increases in both visitor spending (+ 4.6 percent to $2.01 billion) and visitor arrivals (+3.7 percent to 1.5 million) in the first quarter compared to a year ago. Visitor spending decreased on Maui (-5.5 percent to $1.3 billion) despite growth in visitor arrivals (+2.8 percent to 727,967). The island of Hawaii realized declines in both visitor spending (-13.3 percent to $648.6 million) and visitor arrivals (-9.3 percent to 449,615).
Through the first quarter, total air seat capacity statewide increased (+1 percent to 3.3 million), with growth realized in air seats serving Kahului (+2.5 percent), Lihue (+1.4 percent) and Honolulu (+0.5 percent) compared to the same period last year. Significantly fewer air seats served Hilo (-38.9 percent) due to a reduction in service from Los Angeles.