Islands' Arrivals Drop in January For the Third Consecutive Month

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HONOLULU -- Hawaii's arrivals declined for the third consecutive month in January.

Visitors totaled 545,300, a 4.8% drop compared with January of last year, according to the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.

"Our worst fears were realized in January when both key markets -- the mainland and Japan -- slumped at the same time," said Roberta Rinker-Ludloff, HVCB vice president, marketing.

"We've known all along," she added, "that that we must get momentum back into the lackluster mainland market.

"But the dramatic drop-off in arrivals from Japan is a wake-up call we can't afford to ignore."

Rinker-Ludloff noted that Japan has been the sole source of tourism growth since 1992.

In addition, she described a January drop in the average stay of eastbound visitors (from Asia and the Pacific, with the bulk from Japan) as of an "alarming magnitude."

The average stay of westbound visitors dropped 3.2% in January, to 9.9 days.

However, the eastbound average stay plummeted 14%, from 6.5 to 5.6 days.

As a result, Hawaii's total visitor days declined 7.9% from January last year.

January's mainland visitors totaled 261,000, down 1.7% from the same month last year.

Among other westbound markets, those from Canada totaled 37,430, down 2.5%, and Europe, 12,640, down 0.2%.

Eastbound arrivals totaled 217,030, down 8%.

Of the individual major islands, Oahu and Maui showed January visitor declines.

Kauai and the Big Island had increases due almost entirely to eastbound growth.

Arrival figures were: Oahu, 386,770, down 9.7%; Kauai, 74,530, up 6.4%; Maui, 182,420, down 3.2%, and the Big Island, 107,370, up 16.4%.

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