Shane Nelson
Shane Nelson

*logoSpending by visitors arriving to Hawaii by air during April dropped more than $108 million, or 12.3%, when compared with the same period in 2008.

According to a monthly report released May 27 by Hawaii's Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, the total number of visitor arrivals by air during April was 530,316, representing a decline of only 1.5% from the same month last year. Average daily visitor spending in April 2009, however, was $160 per person, a plunge of more than $25 a day from 2008's figures.

"Realizing the need to compete in today's global tourism market, Hawaii's travel industry is offering some very attractive package pricing in the marketplace, which is helping to encourage travelers to visit Hawaii," Marsha Wienert, Hawaii's tourism liaison, said in the report.

"However, the steeply discounted packages are affecting visitor spending and per-person, per-day expenditures," Wienert added. "As we move through the remainder of 2009, the health of the visitor industry and our economy will be dependent on visitor spending and not necessarily on visitor arrivals."

According to a June 1 industry report completed by Hospitality Advisors and Smith Travel Research, hotel occupancy in Hawaii during April was 64.1%, off 5.1% when compared with 2008. Daily room rates dropped 9.3% during the month to a statewide average of $179.

April's 64% occupancy rate across Hawaii is the lowest recorded for the month since the survey was started in 1987, and that figure is down more than 2% from the record low recorded in the March 2009 survey.

Statewide revenue per available room fell to $114.78 in April, tumbling over 16% when compared with 2008.

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