Even though the total number of visitors to Hawaii in October was up year over year, the amount of visitor spending fell for the month as the state saw a significant decline in international travelers.
Visitation to the Aloha State was up 4% in October 2018 compared to the same month in 2017, but visitor spending was down just under 1%, according to data released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
While there was growth in spending from the U.S. West, U.S. East, Canada, and Japan, spending from the "All Other International Markets" category fell 20%. Additionally, the average spend per visitor was down 2% for the month of October compared to the year prior.
Total visitor arrivals hit 770,359, with increases in both air and cruise traffic. Visitation from U.S. West, U.S. East and Canada all rose in October, while fewer visitors arrived from Japan (down 3%) and All Other International Markets (down 4%).
While Maui and Kauai experienced slight increases in both visitation and total spend, Oahu saw an increase in visitation but a small dip in visitor spending. Meanwhile, Hawaii Island, still recovering from a summer filled with disruptions, including the eruptions of Kilauea volcano and torrential downpours of Hurricane Lane, recorded double-digit declines in both visitor spending (down 11%) and visitor arrivals (down 16%) compared to October 2017.
The dip in international visitation corresponded with a decline in air seats from Asian markets (excluding Japan) of 18%. Air seats from other major markets, including Canada, Oceania, U.S. West and U.S. East, were all up. Overall, total air seats to Hawaii are up 9% through October.
For the month of October, hotels in Hawaii saw occupancy rates decrease to 76%, down 3% compared to October 2017, recording relatively flat revenue per available room and a 4% increase in average daily rate.
Year to date through October, visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of $14.93 billion, an increase of roughly 9% compared to the first 10 months of last year, and total visitor arrivals have increased 6%, to nearly 8.3 million, versus the same period last year.