Shane Nelson
Shane Nelson

InsightVisitors spent $1.2 billion across the Aloha State this June, eclipsing an all-time high for the month set back in 2007.

Fueled by an 11.5% year-over-year surge in total arrivals, along with a 10.2% boost in per person daily spending, total visitor expenditures jumped by more than 20% when compared with June of 2011, according to figures released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) July 26.

Hawaii’s visitor numbers were equally impressive through the first six months of 2012. Year to date through June, the destination welcomed more than 3.9 million visitors, up 10.2% from the first half of 2011, and total expenditures surged 21.4% year over year, to $7.1 billion.

“Hawaii’s tourism economy is on pace to set a record-breaking year in 2012,” Mike McCartney, HTA president and CEO, said in a statement. “Hawaii continues to receive a growing number of arrivals from North America and other major markets, supported by additional domestic and international airlift.”

Among Hawaii’s four largest source markets, arrivals from the U.S. West were up 5.7% when compared with the first half of 2011, while those from the U.S. East grew by 4.5%.

Through the end of June, Japanese arrivals continued to recover after last spring’s tsunami, jumping more than 17% year over year, and visitors from Canada increased 6.5%.

Corporate travel to the Islands soared in June as the total number of visitors arriving for meetings, conventions and incentives jumped 30.7%. However, through the first half of 2012, those arrivals were up only 2.6%.

The half-year numbers were far better for cruise arrivals to the state, with more than 152,000 visitors traveling to Hawaii by ship or by air to board cruise ships in port in the state. That figure was up 24.6% from the same period last year, and total vacation days for all cruise visitors increased 15.7%.

Total available air seats to Hawaii increased 4.8% through the first half of 2012.

“This positive momentum is expected to continue through the second half of the year as airlift to the Hawaiian Islands expands with additional service by Allegiant Travel, Asiana Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and international charter flights,” McCartney said.

To view the HTA's half-year visitor figures, visit

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