Hawaii begins the year with a 97% recovery in arrivals | News, Sports, Jobs

An average of 67,892 people visited Maui per day in January, a 17.6% increase from 57,743 daily visitors in January 2022, according to preliminary visitor statistics released by the Department of Business, Economic Development. and Tourism. Although full economic recovery in Hawaii may take a few more years, the slow recovery in tourism fueled by increased spending by mainland and international travelers will drive business in 2023. The Maui News/MATTHEW THAYER photo

Maui was the only Neighbor Island county in January that didn’t see higher visitor numbers than before the pandemic, though it wasn’t far off as the state moved closer to recovery overall, according to preliminary data on tourism.

There were 228,743 visitors to Maui in January, a 24.8% increase from January 2022, when there were 183,278 visitors to Valley Isle, but a 2% decline from the same month in 2019, where there were 233,422 visitors.

Visitor spending rose 47.3% to $625.2 million in January from $424.5 million spent in the same period last year and 31.8% from 474.2 million dollars spent in January 2019.

Maui had an average of 67,892 visitors to the island per day in January, an increase of 17.6% from 57,743 daily visitors in January 2022. But this is a drop of 2.8% from compared to the average of 69,854 reported in January 2019.

Although full economic recovery in Hawaii may take a few more years, the slow recovery in tourism fueled by increased spending by mainland and international travelers will boost business this year for those dependent on the industry, according to the Department of State of affairs, economic development. and Tourism.

A total of 791,781 visitors arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in January, a 37.9% increase from January 2022. Compared to 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic, this represents a massive recovery 96.8% of the total number of visitor arrivals.

These visitors spent $1.89 billion in January, compared to $1.4 billion (a 35.5% increase) in January 2022 and $1.62 billion (a 17.2% increase) in January 2019.

“The tourism industry is off to a strong start in 2023 with nearly 97% recovery in arrivals,” DBEDT director Chris J. Sadayasu said in a press release.

Unsurprisingly, Oahu welcomed the most visitors in January of all the islands. There were 435,833 visitors in January, a 57.2% increase from the 277,228 people who visited the island in January 2022, but down nearly 11% from the 488,441 visitors in January 2019 .

Visitor spending was up everywhere, however. In January, visitors spent $751.2 million on Oahu, up 32.5% from the $566.7 million spent in January 2022 and up 7.3% from the 700.2 million dollars of January 2019 before the pandemic.

The average daily count on Oahu was 112,552 visitors in January. This represents an increase of almost 44% compared to the 78,394 visitors in January 2022, but a decrease of 3.3% compared to the 116,417 visitors in January 2019.

The island of Hawaii welcomed 148,376 visitors in January compared to 110,697 visitors in January 2022, an increase of 34%. This is also a slight increase of 0.7% from the 147,402 visitors in January 2019.

Similar to the rest of the state, visitor spending rose 10.4% on the island of Hawaii to $260.1 million from $235.6 million spent in January 2022 and rising down 2.7% from $253.3 million in January 2019.

The average daily count in January was 45,404 visitors, a 20% increase from 37,823 visitors in the same month last year and a 6.7% increase from 42,548 visitors in 2019.

Kauai saw the fewest visitors in the state with 106,980 in January. This is still a 26.1% increase for the island from the 84,828 visitors who came in January 2022 and a slight increase of 0.8% in 2019 when 106,142 people came to Kauai.

The average daily count in Kauai was 29,372 visitors in January, an increase of 14.9% from 25,554 visitors in January 2022, but a slight decrease of 1.4% from the 29,784 visitors in 2019 before the pandemic.

Yet people spent 45.6% more on their trip, totaling $234.6 million in January, compared to $161.1 million in January 2022. This is also an increase of 32.9 % compared to January 2019, when visitors spent $176.5 million.

“As global travel is rebalanced and restored in the years to come, it is imperative that we maintain our proactive presence and communication in our key markets to amplify our message statewide from malama Hawaii for the good -being of our community”, Hawaii Tourism Authority Chairman John De Fries said in a press release.

Hawaii’s visitor industry and the state’s economic recovery continued to be driven primarily by increased spending by visitors from the western and eastern United States, followed by the steady recovery major international visitor markets.

Total spending by visitors from Canada in January almost approached January 2019 levels, while total spending from the Japanese market continued to improve.

Visitors to the Western United States spent $804.4 million in January 2023, up 14% from $705.6 million in January 2022 and up 44.5% from 556, $7 million in January 2019.

Visitors from the Eastern United States spent $618.9 million in January 2023, compared to $529.4 million (up 16.9%) in January 2022 and $462.9 million (in increase of 33.7%) in January 2019.

International visitors by air in January accounted for 23% of total air visitors – the highest since the start of the pandemic, Sadayasu said.

January was also the second best month for arrivals from Japan and Canada for 34 months. The same was true for cruise ship arrivals during the month.

“With the recovery of tourism, especially international tourism, businesses that depend on international visitors will have a better year in 2023, although full recovery may take a few years,” Sadayasu said.

* Dakota Grossman can be reached at dgrossman@mauinews.com.

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