The Hawaiian Islands welcomed more visitors this May but travelers spent less money across the destination than last year.
Total arrivals to Hawaii improved 1.3% in May to more than 718,000 people, but total visitor expenditures slipped 2.4% year over year to $1.4 billion statewide, according to preliminary estimates released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) June 30.
Still, through the first five months of this year, the Aloha State tourism industry is outpacing the impressive returns of 2015.
"Visitor arrivals and expenditures year-to-date show that Hawaii is still ahead of last year's record-setting pace with total arrivals up 3.1% and spending up 1%," George Szigeti, the HTA's CEO and president, said in a statement. "Visitors from our two largest markets, the U.S. West and East, led arrivals in May and continue [their] positive course of year-over-year growth."
Through the end of May, arrivals from Hawaii's largest source market, U.S. states west of the Rockies, were up 4% to more than 1.3 million travelers while spending climbed 3.7% to more than $2.1 billion. Arrivals from the U.S. East increased 5.2% to more than 743,000 travelers and spending from the region was up 4.5% to $1.5 billion.
Year-to-date arrivals were also up for Japan, Hawaii's largest international market. The state welcomed more 576,000 Japanese visitors, an increase of 1.8%, but spending by the Japanese was off 4.7% at just over $770 million.
Canadian arrivals, meanwhile, sunk 11.5% year over year through May and spending plunged 18%.