Hawaii Sees Rise in Arrivals

HONOLULU -- Hawaii's total visitors increased 0.7% last year compared with 1996, according to final 1997 arrivals figures compiled by the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau.

While the year ended with U.S. visitors 2.3% ahead of 1996, those from Japan, the second-largest market, increased only 0.1% and total Asian arrivals dropped 0.8%.

According to the HVCB, Hawaii accounted for 12.5% of total Japanese outbound traffic last year, maintaining its 1996 market share.

For the first time, the final figures list arrival breakdowns of eastbound visitors (from Asia and the Pacific) by country of origin.

For the first four months of this year, eastbound declines deepened while mainland increases continued.

Through April, the 2,258,760 total visitors were down 0.4% from the month last year, with mainland visitors up 3.7% and eastbound (mostly Japanese) down 6.7%.

Hawaii's peak year for both total and U.S. arrivals was 1990.

The 1997 figures reveal that, while last year's total visitors were only 0.8% below those of 1990, there were 16% fewer U.S. visitors than in 1990.

Last year's mainland (westbound) visitors, totaling 3,387,180, were up 3.1% over 1996; eastbound Americans, stopping here on return flights, totaled 339,360, down 5%.

Also notable:

  • The number of Canadian arrivals declined 6.2%.
  • The number of Europeans increased 0.2%, with a growing U.K. market replacing Germany as the top producer.
  • Australian arrivals were down 12.2%. The country produced in 1997 just one-third of the visitors for Hawaii that it did in 1990.
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