Now into the second quarter of 2012, tourism is continuing to show improvement for the State of Hawaii. Arrivals from nearly every major market area, increased expenditures, more multi-island visits, and organized tour groups all contributed to a strong month.
One unique highlight is an increase of expenditures by nearly 27% as compared to April, 2011. It also marked the highest amount of spending by visitors on record for the state as compared to the same month in history. Arrivals from the Canadian market slowed down a bit though still higher than this time last year, increasing by 3.3%. The biggest gain was shown by the Oceana, Japan, and the other Asian markets with arrivals, both increasing with huge percentages as compared to April, 2011. Scheduled air seats fell off from the Eastern US market due to decreased service from Chicago by American Airlines and United but those decreases were offset by increased seat demand from the West Coast. East Coast visitors are still making the trip but connecting through the major West Coast cities. Those carriers are now offering seasonal service out of Chicago rather than year round.
The arrival growth rate of the major islands continues to show improvement. O’ahu increased by 12.9%, the Big Island moved up 7.3%, Kaua’i was next in line at 4.6%, and Maui was in the last spot, showing a positive increase of arrivals at 4%. Each of these examples is compared to April, 2011. Vacation Rental occupancy did not appear to move up at quite the same pace as the other important factors throughout Hawaii though it held firm to last year’s numbers. Visitors were coming in but simply choosing to stay elsewhere overall throughout the state.
With most of the important indicators showing positive momentum, 2012 is proving to be a great year for the State of Hawaii as a whole. Perhaps these statewide increases will equate to the same forward motion for the vacation rental industry further into 2012.