Hawaiian Tourism Takes a Dip

HONOLULU -- Hawaii's flat tourism performance this year continued in June, its 582,230 total visitors down 1.1% from the month last year. Eastbound visitors, mostly Japanese and totaling 228,370, were down 5.3%.

However, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau was encouraged by June's U.S. mainland growth; the market's 310,720 visitors were up 2.9%. Roberta Rinker-Ludloff, HVCB vice president, marketing attributed growth "at least in part" to the bureau's $4 million mainland television advertising campaign in April and May.

"We're seeing the first positive impact of in the June numbers from the West Coast. The impact on the Midwest and East should show up in July, August and later this fall," she said. HVCB expects to see the results of a $6 million advertising campaign in Japan, which ran late May and mid July, by late summer.

The state's tourism slowdown began last fall. Mainland visitors declined October through February and again in May. Eastbound visitors dropped November through February, with the June decline following three months of increases.

An HVCB concern is a continuing decline in the Japanese average length of stay. This resulted in a decline in the state's total visitor days for the first six months of 2.1% from the period last year.

For the half-year, total visitors numbered 3,382,850, down a slight 0.6% from last year's period. The 1,699,920 mainland visitors for the six months were up 0.7%; eastbound visitors, at 1,348,120, dropped 0.6%.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI