Despite a decrease in arrivals from Japan, Hawaii increased its visitor count to nearly 7.3 million in 2011, a 3.8% increase from the year before.

And not only did Hawaii boost visitation, arrivals stayed longer and spent more money in 2011, according to Hawaii Tourism Authority statistics.

Visitors from the U.S. West (Hawaii’s largest source market) reached nearly 3 million, a rise of 2.4%. Visitation from the U.S. East was up 2%, to more than 1.6 million.

Visitation from Japan — Hawaii’s third-largest source market — fell 5.1% due to the earthquake and tsunami that devastated northern Japan last March. However, big visitor increases from the U.S., Canada and the rest of the world more than made up for that.

Canada visitation rose 17.9%, to more than 477,000, as Air Canada and WestJet increased airlift to Hawaii.

Visitors from all other fly-in markets exceeded 868,000, a 17.7% bump. Cruise ship arrivals increased 22.9%, to more than 124,000.

The average length of stay for Hawaii visitors rose from 9.3 to 9.5 days.

Visitor spending totaled nearly $12.6 billion in 2011, a 15.6% increase from the nearly $10.9 billion spent in 2010. Even Japanese visitors spent more (an 8.1% increase) despite the falloff in visitors from Japan.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority noted that an increase in high-spending visitors from Australia, New Zealand and Asian countries contributed to the boost in spending.
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