The Aloha State enjoyed another strong month of visitor arrivals and spending figures in March, propelled by a resurgent Japanese market one year after that county’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Hawaii welcomed more than 114,000 Japanese visitors in March. That marked a rise of 27% year over year but also outperformed the market’s March arrival totals from 2008, 2009 and 2010. Visitor spending by Japanese travelers jumped 25.3% during March, according to figures released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA); the destination has now seen year-over-year spending increase among Japanese visitors 10 months in a row.
The Islands saw overall visitor arrivals increase 12.9%, to a total of 714,973 travelers in March while visitor spending soared 18.9% to more than $1.17 billion. Among Hawaii’s three other major markets, arrivals increased 11.4% from the U.S. West, 2.2% from the U.S. East and 6.6% from Canada.
“Looking ahead, we anticipate some flattening in arrivals from the U.S. in April,” Mike McCartney, the HTA’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “While May is typically a slower month for travel to the Hawaiian Islands.”
“We remain optimistic for a robust second half of the quarter, with new flights beginning from New York; Washington D.C.; Fresno; and Las Vegas and the start of increased seasonal summer travel in June,” he added.
Meetings, conventions and incentives visitors to the Islands sank 14.4% in March, while the total number of those traveling to Hawaii for weddings dropped 7.2% year over year.
The number of couples spending their honeymoons in the state jumped, however, soaring 23.5% during the month, while the total number of available air seats on nonstop flights to Hawaii also improved in March, climbing 5%.
For the first quarter of 2012, total visitor arrivals to the state were up 7.8% over last year, and total visitor spending surged 12.5%.