Hawaii's Asian Arrivals Dip Again

HONOLULU -- Hawaii suffered its fourth consecutive month of Asian visitor decline in May.

According to the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, the decline overshadows a strong U.S. mainland performance and has hit Oahu the hardest.

Arrivals totaled 525,720 in May, 0.9% fewer than in the month last year, with surging mainland arrivals up 12.5% and those arriving eastbound down 11.7%.

According to Tony Vericella, the HVCB's president, Oahu is the only major island that routinely hosts more eastbound than westbound visitors and was the only one with a May decline in total visitors.

He also noted the continued erosion of Hawaii's first-time visitors. "This hurts Oahu, which hosts most of our first-time visitors," he said.

For the first five months, Oahu had a 3.5% visitor decline; Kauai was down 0.2%; Maui, up 4.6%, and the Big Island, up 7%.

Total arrivals for the period stood at 2.8 million, down 0.5%, with the 1.46 million mainland visitors up 7.5% and eastbound totaling almost 1 million, down 7.6%.

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