BY MARSHA WIENERT– The stellar performance by our visitor industry in August added an additional $250.5 million in visitor spending to Hawai’i’s successful summer travel season. The months of June, July and August this year exceeded last year by 203,366 visitor arrivals and generated an additional $597 million circulating through our economy.
An increase in airseats to O’ahu, Maui and Kona on the Big Island and Kaua’i’s virtually unchanged number of airline seats resulted in positive growth in visitor arrivals and spending on all islands.
Part of the visitor growth in August can be attributed to the fans and alumni who came to the islands for the University of Southern California versus University of Hawai’i football game. While we were disappointed that UH was not successful in defeating USC, we really appreciate the economic impact USC fans had on our economy.
Through August, visitor spending in the islands totaled $7.5 billion, an increase of 12.7 percent compared to the first eight months of 2009.
We still have a long way to go before we get back to pre-2008 levels; however, after six straight months of growth in visitor spending, businesses throughout the state are encouraged by the improvements in the visitor industry.
Marsha Wienert is the Tourism Liaison for the state of Hawaii