Whoever thinks that the economy and spending in Hawaii is suffering needs to take another look. More visitors and spending occurred in Hawaii in 2012 than any other year in history. Records for Hawaii show that the tourism industry continues to rebound strongly from the recent recession.
There was indeed a timeframe where Hawaii was suffering from not enough visitors. However, even when things were down, they were still better than most places. Hawaii is currently thriving when it comes to the tourism industry, visitors and spending. The state may even set another record at the end of 2013. It isn’t hard to understand why, as Hawaii is one of the most popular destinations on the planet.
Hawaii Visitors and Spending by the Numbers
Just under 8 million visitors came to the state to top the previous high of 7.6 million in 2006, according to preliminary data released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Total visitors in 2012 were up 9.6 percent from 7.3 million in 2011 led by Japanese arrivals, which jumped 17 percent from the previous year. The U.S. West, the state’s largest tourism market, was up 6.7 percent in arrivals while U.S. East was up 3.5 percent and Canada ahead 4.3 percent.
Visitor spending for the year hit $14.3 billion, extending a record that it set during the first 11 months of 2012 when spending reached $12.9 billion. The previous full-year record was $12.8 billion in 2007. Total spending was up 18.7 percent from $12.1 billion last year and was led by Japan with a 21.7 percent increase. U.S. West was up 12.2 percent, with U.S. East ahead 9.9 percent and Canada up 9.8 percent.
For December, visitor arrivals increased 6.3 percent to 733,709 from 690,090 while spending rose 14.9 percent to $1.4 billion from $1.2 billion.