number of travelers to Hawaii dipped last year for the first time
since 2003, but for the state's tourism officials, it's all part of
Hawaii is more than
willing to trade the plane-loads of mass travelers who helped drive
its arrivals numbers to a record high of 7.4 million over the last
few years for a lesser number of high-end, high-spending visitors
from the mainland U.S. and Canada, according to the Hawaii Visitors
and Convention Bureau's tourism marketing plan for North America
"We continue to be
encouraged by the increase in visitor spending, as well as ongoing
growth in the number of visitors from markets such as Canada,
Hawaii's fourth largest market, and the strong performance of
Hawaii's cruise industry," said State tourism Liaison Marsha Wienert.
While total visitor
arrivals dropped 1.2% to 7.3 million in 2007, arrivals from Canada
climbed by 5.3%, according to preliminary statistics released Jan.
29 by the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and
Arrivals from the
West Coast were up less than 1%, while arrivals from the East Coast
were down 3.3%. In addition, arrivals from Japan, which have been
consistently off, fell 3.5% from 2006. Kauai was the only island
with increased arrivals from all four markets.
statewide increased 2.5% to $182 per person. Per-day spending was
up among all markets, with Canadian visitors showing the largest
increase at 5.5%; the Japanese visitor spent the most per day at
$269, an uptick of 1% over 2006.
The number of cruise
visitors grew 20.6% to 501,698 in 2007. That number included
passengers who flew to the state to board cruise ships or came by
cruise ships visiting Hawaii. In 2007, there were 77 cruise ship
arrivals, compared to 64 in 2006.
The average length of
stay across all islands was virtually unchanged at 9.15
contact reporter Margaret Myre, send e-mail to [email protected].