U.S. visitor gain provides Hawaii with modest arrivals increase

HONOLULU -- Hawaii's 3.4 million visitors in the first six months of the year represented an 0.6% increase compared with last year's period.

Strong growth of arrivals from the U.S. mainland, up 5.5% with 1.8 million visitors for the period, was dampened by a continuing eastbound decline.

The 1.1 million eastbound visitors, mostly Japanese, were down 7.7%, according to Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

However, DBEDT was encouraged by June's figures.

June's 4.1% increase in total arrivals was the largest monthly visitor increase this year, noted Pearl Imada Iboshi, administrator of DBEDT's research division.

June also had the largest monthly increase in visitor days (for the six months total, visitor days were up 2.7% because of growth in stays for mainland arrivals and a longer eastbound visitor stay). "These statistics suggest an improved outlook for 1999," said Iboshi.

In June, mainland arrivals increased 7.5% while eastbound visitors declined only 2.2%.

U.S. regions and states that showed double-digit growth for the six-month period were: Oregon, up 17.7%; the west north central region states, Missouri and Kansas to the Dakotas, up 15.9%, and New Jersey, up 11.6%.

California, Hawaii's largest mainland market, showed a 3.3% increase, with 583,220 visitors, for the six months, and a 16.9% increase in June.

Of other westbound markets, Canadians totaled 163,180 for the six months, a 15.6% increase; Europeans, totaling 88,730, increased just 0.1%.

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