Shane Nelson
Shane Nelson

InsightHawaii visitors broke more arrivals and spending records in May, eclipsing the all-time highs for the month set in 2007.

“Total expenditures and arrivals achieved record highs for the second consecutive month, reaching $1.1 billion and bringing 622,899 visitors,” Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) President and CEO Mike McCartney said in a statement. “Recent increases in domestic and international airlift along with major conventions, festivals and events throughout the state helped to generate an additional $159 million in May 2012 compared to last year.”

While statewide visitor spending jumped 17.5% year over year, total arrivals to the destination were also up 12.5% in May, according to preliminary statistics released by the HTA June 28.

Among Hawaii’s four largest source markets, arrivals by air from the U.S. West climbed 8.7%, while those from the U.S. East were up 6.8%. The Japanese market continued its recovery following last March’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, producing 31.4% more visitors this May.

Arrivals by air from Canada were essentially flat, however, increasing less than 1% over the same period last year.

Total available air seats to Hawaii in May climbed 5.6% year over year, with scheduled seats from Japan surging more than 21%.

“Hawaii’s summer season is anticipated to be even more prosperous than in previous years with new direct service, including Hawaiian Airlines’ New York flight; United Airlines’ Washington, D.C. flight; and Allegiant Airlines’ Las Vegas and Fresno [Calif.] flights commencing in June,” McCartney said.

Total cruise arrivals to the state soared 55% from last May’s figure, fueled in large part by the inaugural visit of the 2,700-passenger Disney Wonder early in the month, while the number of meetings, conventions and incentives visitors jumped 15% across the destination.

Although Oahu saw the largest year-over-year arrivals growth, up 15% from May of last year, four of Hawaii’s five neighbor islands also saw a notable increase in visitors, including Maui, which enjoyed a 6.8% bump, and the Big Island of Hawaii, which saw a spike of 8.9%.

The one exception was the small island of Lanai, where visitor arrivals were off 5.3%.

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