Hawaii followed two straight years of record tourism numbers with a strong start to 2018.
Visitor spending in January was $1.69 billion statewide, a 5% increase over the same period of 2017. The total set a new record for visitor spending in any single month, according to Hawaii Tourism Authority preliminary figures. Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island set individual monthly high marks for visitor spending.
New air routes and capacity to the Aloha State contributed to the record figures. Trans-Pacific air seats to the islands increased nearly 10% in the first month of 2018 compared to January 2017, for a total of 1.12 million. The growth was led by added capacity from Asian countries other than Japan (17% increase) and the U.S. West (13.6%).
“Heightened travel demand leads to increased air access, and carriers are showing their confidence in Hawaii’s ability to attract travel consumers from the U.S. mainland and around the world," said George Szigeti, CEO of the HTA, in a statement.
The total number of visitors in January tallied 796,483, a 5.4% jump from 2017. Almost all of the tracked markets showed growth apart from Japan, with total arrivals and spending both down approximately 4% for the month.
“A benefit of tourism’s success in January is that $197 million in state tax revenue was generated, which is also a record monthly total,” Szigeti said in the statement.