Following the trend for the year, May of 2012 was great for the State of Hawaii. Arrivals and visitor expenditures both grew in dramatic form as compared to the previous year. Average length of stay increased as did meetings, conventions, and incentives. Each major market area showed improvement as compared to 2011 as well.
Expenditures and arrivals both increased by 17.5% and 12.5% respectively, making this month the greatest May on record in history. Each major market area continued to show growth. Japan continues to increase their support along with the majority of the US markets. The Canadian market was steady from last year. Scheduled airline seats have continued to increase as well for each of the major islands over the past five months of 2012, increasing overall by 4.5%. The vacation rental industry showed an increase from the previous year and indicated stronger growth than that of the previous month, increasing by about 8% from 2011. The Canadian market, though steady with arrivals, chose to stay in condominium properties over that of hotels in dramatic form. With a 20.2% increase in accommodation selection from the previous year, Canada is certainly showing its support for the industry.
O’ahu has shown the largest growth of all of the islands in relation to visitor arrivals from the previous year, increasing by 15.1%. The Big Island showed an 8.9% increase in arrivals while Maui saw a 6.8% positive change. Though showing the fastest growth during the first three months of 2012, Kaua’i offered a 4.3% positive change compared to last May. These increases are attributed to additional mainland marketing and an active island branding campaign. The purpose of this approach is to match the various islands and the personalities of potential visitors, ensuring a great vacation and repeat visit. As Hawaii gains in popularity, arriving guests are also visiting different locations in an effort to experience the individuality of each of the Hawaiian Islands.
The current forward momentum will continue to get the State of Hawaii out of the shadow of recent years. With most of the influential markers looking positive, the State of Hawaii is proving yet again that it is a stronger destination as we move further into 2012 and beyond.