Hawaii enjoyed solid visitor arrivals and spending growth from the domestic market during the first three months of 2016.
Arrivals from the Hawaiian Islands’ largest source market, U.S. states west of the Rockies, climbed nearly 6% during the first quarter to more than 833,000 travelers. Visitor totals also improved from the U.S. East, where arrivals jumped 7.8% year over year, according to preliminary estimates released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) earlier this month.
Meanwhile, total visitor spending by U.S. West travelers surged 7.4% during the quarter to more than $1.3 billion, and U.S. East expenditures increased by 5.4% to just over $1 billion.
“Hawaii’s tourism industry is fortunate to have enjoyed a strong first quarter, one that has the State ahead of last year’s record-setting pace,” George Szigeti, the HTA president and CEO, said in a statement. “However, success in tourism is never guaranteed from year-to-year and even month-to-month. We all know too well in Hawaii how rapidly tourism’s prospects can falter due to factors beyond our control.”
Total visitor arrivals to the state climbed 3.6% through the end of March to more than 2.1 million people. Total visitor expenditures were up 2.6% year over year to more than $3.9 billion.
The Hawaiian Islands also set a new total visitor arrivals record for the month of March, welcoming more than 786,000 travelers, an increase of less than 1 percentage point from the same month in 2016.