HTA NEWS RELEASE: Hawaii Visitor Statistics Released for 2019Posted on Jan 29, 2020 in Latest News
HONOLULU – Visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent $17.75 billion1 in 2019, an increase of 1.4 percent compared to 2018, according to preliminary year-end statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Visitor spending includes lodging, interisland airfare, shopping, food, car rental and other expenses while in Hawaii.
Spending by visitors generated $2.07 billion in state tax revenue in 2019, an increase of $28.5 million (+1.4%) from 2018. Additionally, 216,0002 jobs statewide were supported by Hawaii’s tourism industry in 2019.
Tourism dollars from the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT), which visitors pay when they stay in legal accommodations, helped to fund more than a hundred nonprofits, festivals and events statewide in 2019. They include the Merrie Monarch Festival, Aloha Festivals, the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival, the Okinawan Festival, the Kauai Chocolate and Coffee Festival, the Nature Conservancy, and the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.
In 2019, visitor spending increased from the U.S. West (+5.9% to $6.98 billion), U.S. East (+3.6% to $4.69 billion) and Japan (+2.0% to $2.19 billion), but declined from Canada (-3.2% to $1.07 billion) and All Other International Markets (-10.4% to $2.77 billion) compared to 2018.
On a statewide level, average daily spending by visitors in 2019 decreased to $195 per person (-1.5%). Visitors from U.S. East (+1.7% to $214) and Canada (+0.6% to $165) spent more per day, while visitors from Japan (-0.6% to $240), U.S. West (-0.5% to $175) and All Other International Markets (-8.5% to $217) spent less compared to 2018.
A total of 10,424,995 visitors came to Hawaii in 2019, an increase of 5.4 percent from the 9,888,845 visitors in 2018. Total visitor days3 rose 3.0 percent in 2019. On average, there were 249,021 visitors in the Hawaiian Islands on any given day in 2019, up 3.0 percent from 2018.
Arrivals by air service increased to 10,282,160 visitors (+5.3%) in 2019, with growth from U.S. West (+9.8%), U.S. East (+4.2%) and Japan (+3.8%) offsetting decreases from Canada (-2.4%) and All Other International Markets (-1.8%). Arrivals by cruise ships rose 12.1 percent to 142,836 visitors compared to 2018.
In 2019, Oahu recorded increases in visitor spending (+2.8% to $8.19 billion) and visitor arrivals (+5.6% to 6,193,027), but daily spending declined (-1.6%) compared to 2018. Visitor spending on Maui also increased (+2.4% to $5.12 billion) as growth in visitor arrivals (+5.4% to 3,071,596) offset lower daily spending (-0.6%). The island of Hawaii reported declines in visitor spending (-1.0% to $2.33 billion) and daily spending (-2.9%), but visitor arrivals increased (+4.3% to 1,779,526). Kauai saw decreases in visitor spending (-4.7% to $1.90 billion), daily spending (-2.2%) and visitor arrivals (-1.0% to 1,374,944).
A total of 13,619,349 trans-Pacific air seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands in 2019, up 2.9 percent from 2018. Growth in air seat capacity from U.S. East (+7.6%) and U.S. West (+5.5%) offset fewer air seats from Other Asia (-10.9%), Oceania (-7.2%), Japan (-2.1%) and Canada (-0.9%).
In December 2019, visitor spending rose to $1.75 billion (+10.5%) year-over-year. Total visitor days (+5.4%) and arrivals increased (+6.0% to 954,289), and the average daily visitor spending (+4.8% to $198 per person) was higher compared to December 2018.
U.S. West: In 2019, visitor arrivals increased from both the Mountain (+10.9%) and Pacific (+10.2%) regions versus 2018. Daily visitor spending of $175 per person (-0.5%) was down slightly compared to a year ago. Food and beverage, transportation, and entertainment and recreation expenses declined, while lodging expenses were slightly higher and shopping expenses were similar to 2018. There was growth in hotel (+11.2%), condominium (+5.6%) and timeshare (+2.0%) stays, as well as increased stays in bed and breakfast properties (+13.7%) and rental homes (+11.7%) in 2019.
In December 2019, visitor spending increased (+11.0% to $694.7 million) year-over-year. Visitor arrivals rose (+9.4% to 419,311) and daily visitor spending was higher at $179 per person (+2.4%).
U.S. East: Visitor arrivals were up from every region in 2019, highlighted by growth from the two largest regions, East North Central (+4.1%) and South Atlantic (+4.0%). Daily visitor spending increased to $214 per person (+1.7%) in 2019. Lodging and food and beverage expenses were higher, while transportation expenses declined and shopping, and entertainment and recreation expenses were about the same as 2018. Visitor stays decreased in timeshares (-1.7%), but increased in rental homes (+9.8%), bed and breakfast properties (+4.1%) and hotels (+3.6%) compared to 2018.
In December 2019, visitor spending increased (+15.0% to $489.3 million), boosted by growth in visitor arrivals (+9.5% to 215,309) and higher daily visitor spending (+5.1% to $218 per person).
Japan: Visitors spent slightly less daily (-0.6% to $240 per person) in 2019 compared to the previous year. Lodging, shopping and transportation expenses declined, while spending on food and beverage, and entertainment and recreation increased. More visitors stayed in timeshares (+11.5%), hotels (+3.6%) and condominiums (+1.4%), while fewer visitors stayed in rental homes (-19.7%) and bed and breakfasts (-37.5%) compared to 2018.
Visitor spending rose in December 2019 (+13.2% to $210.1 million) compared to December 2018, supported by increases in visitor arrivals (+7.3% to 136,998) and daily visitor spending (+6.2% to $258 per person).
Canada: Daily visitor spending rose slightly to $165 per person (+0.6%) in 2019. Food and beverage and entertainment and recreation expenses increased, while lodging expenses dropped slightly. Transportation and shopping expenses were similar to 2018. Visitor stays decreased in condominiums (-8.2%), timeshares (-7.0%), rental homes (-1.8%) and hotels (-1.4%) in 2019.
Visitor spending decreased in December 2019 (-5.8% to $128.0 million) due to fewer visitor arrivals (-7.7% to 64,353) compared to December 2018. Daily visitor spending was higher at $157 per person (+2.1%).
 Total visitor spending of $17.75 billion was in nominal dollar (not adjusted for inflation) and did not include supplemental business expenditures.
 The number of jobs supported (direct, indirect and induced).
 Aggregate number of days stayed by all visitors.
About the Hawaii Tourism Authority
The Hawaii Tourism Authority is the State of Hawaii agency responsible for strategically managing its support of the tourism industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawaii’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure tourism’s sustainability and the benefits it brings to residents and communities statewide.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications & Public Relations
Hawaii Tourism Authority
O: (808) 973-2272
Director of Tourism Research
Hawaii Tourism Authority
O: (808) 973-9446