Insight Hawaii Insight Visitor spending soars across state in November By Shane Nelson / January 10, 2011 Share 1 -- Spending by visitors who traveled to Hawaii this November shot up 30.4% when compared with the same period last year. All told, travelers to the state spent $976 million during the month, or $227.8 million more than in November 2009. According to preliminary statistics recently released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, total visitor arrivals to the Islands also spiked, jumping 18.2% year over year. "Our tourism economy continues to gain momentum," Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA, said in a statement. "November was another strong month." Hawaii saw year-over-year growth in both visitor spending and arrivals during each of the first 11 months of 2010. Year to date through November, total expenditures by travelers was $10.3 billion, an increase of 16% from the same period in 2009. Arrivals grew 8.6%, to about 6.5 million visitors. More than 560,000 visitors traveled to Hawaii by air in November, and among the state's four largest markets, arrivals from Canada saw the largest year-over-year increase, surging 28.2% in November. Those from the U.S. West jumped 23.3%, while arrivals from the U.S. East were up 18.1%, and travelers from Japan grew 3.3%. November was also a solid month for cruise ship arrivals. Hawaii welcomed 16,952 cruise visitors, an increase of 43.5% year over year. "It is also important to note that our rate of recovery is well ahead of other competitive destinations such as Mexico and the Caribbean," McCartney said. "However, an analysis by Hawaii Tourism Authority research staff shows that Hawaii is only beginning to see signs of recovery, and we still have a long way to go to offset the declines over the last two years." McCartney added that although HTA officials expect to exceed their initial annual target for arrivals by a "comfortable margin at the end of the year," the organization plans to continue its highly successful focused-marketing campaigns. "HTA's contractor for the North American market, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, along with our industry partners, will be launching comprehensive efforts in key geographic markets during the first quarter of 2011," he said. "These efforts are expected to continue to drive bookings and bring visitors and their spending to Hawaii throughout the year."