The Hawaiian Islands welcomed more than 652,000 visitors during September, an all-time high for the month and an increase of 4.7% year over year.
The record-setting arrivals total was bolstered by solid growth from Hawaii’s largest source market, U.S. states west of the Rockies, which produced nearly 249,000 travelers during the month, an increase of 6.3% over September 2014, according to Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) preliminary estimates released Oct. 28.
A 4.2% increase in Canadian visitors helped offset an essentially unchanged arrivals total from the U.S. East, which slipped less than a percentage point in September to 109,000 people.
“Visitor arrivals have remained strong for the first nine months of the year, reaching 6.5 million visitors and pacing just slightly above our projections,” George Szigeti, the HTA president and CEO, said in a statement. “However, growth in spending is beginning to plateau; currently we are only 2.6% ahead of last year, reaching $11.3 billion.”
Total visitor expenditures declined during September, in fact, slipping 1.2% to $1.1 billion for the month. While spending from the U.S. West climbed 6.5% to more than $366 million, the metric sunk 5.5% from the U.S. East and plunged more than 12% from Japan, Hawaii’s largest international market.
“With lower domestic fuel prices, we anticipate seeing continued growth from our core U.S. markets,” Szigeti said of the rest of this year. “However, we will continue to monitor unstable economic conditions in Canada, Japan and China, which could also impact other regions in the Asia-Pacific.”