”’Editor’s Note: When it comes to ensuring visitors enjoy their stay in the Islands, Hawaii continues to demonstrate it can exceed expectations, according to results of the 2002 Visitor Satisfaction and Activity Report recently released by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. The report shows over 96 percent of the U.S., Japanese, Canadian and European visitors surveyed in 2002 rated their most recent Hawaii vacation as “excellent” or “above average”. The report details information collected from a survey of U.S., Japanese, Canadian and European visitors who came to Hawaii last year. The survey covers satisfaction of visitors and provides details of the activities they participated in, their likelihood to recommend/revisit, their trip planning process and their visitor profile including purpose of trip, travel companions, income level and other visitor characteristics.”’

”Report highlights:”

”Overall Satisfaction Rating”

The percentage of U.S. respondents who gave “excellent” overall ratings to their Hawaii vacation increased to 69.3 percent.
Japanese respondents tend to be more critical with fewer “excellent” ratings. Nearly 49 percent of the Japanese visitors surveyed gave “excellent” marks to their Hawaii vacation compared to 53.9 percent in 2001.

Close to 60 percent of Canadian visitors surveyed and 67.4 percent of the European respondents rated Hawaii as “excellent”.
Each Hawaiian island received “excellent” ratings from the majority of their visitors. Close to 76 percent of the U.S. respondents who visited Kauai rated their experience as “excellent” up from 2001 and 1998. The percentage of “Excellent” rating by those who visited Maui was also higher. The majority of the 2002 visitors to the Big Island and/or Oahu also gave high marks to their stay on these islands.
“Excellent” ratings given by Japanese respondents who visited Kauai and/or the Big Island were higher. About 49 percent of Japanese visitors surveyed gave “excellent” marks to Oahu while 51.9 percent rated Maui as “excellent”.

Approximately 64 percent of the Canadian respondents who visited Maui and Kauai rated these islands “excellent”. Over half of the Canadian respondents who visited the Big Island and 46 percent of those who went to Oahu during the year rated these islands as “excellent”.
More than 60 percent of European respondents gave the island they visited “excellent” marks.

”Participation in Activities”

The 2002 survey asked visitors about their participation in the following activities while on each island: shopping, sightseeing, culture, recreation, entertainment and transportation. The results show clear differences in the shopping habits, the mode of transportation used, and the types of activities chosen by U.S. and Japanese respondents.

Virtually all of the respondents engaged in shopping during their stay in the islands. The three most popular shopping places for U.S. West and U.S. East visitors were supermarkets, convenience stores and hotel stores. In contrast, Japanese visitors favored shopping in duty free stores, convenience stores and designer boutiques. More Canadian visitors shopped in department stores, convenience stores and supermarkets while more European visitors went to supermarkets, department stores and convenience stores.

While the majority of the Japanese respondents did most of their shopping on Oahu, shopping activities by U.S. West, U.S. East, Canadian and European respondents were more distributed across Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. Supermarket shopping by U.S. West, U.S. East and Canadian visitors was higher on the Neighbor Islands than on Oahu. The most active shoppers among the Japanese respondents were honeymoon/wedding and younger visitors.

The three most popular sightseeing activities among the respondents were self-guided tours, tour bus excursions and boat tours/submarine/whale watching tours. The majority of the U.S. West (83.6 percent) and U.S. East (81.6 percent) visitors went on self-guided tours on all islands. A large number of Canadian (80.3 percent) and European (74.5 percent) visitors also went on self-guided tours but more did so on the neighbor islands than on Oahu.

In contrast, only 60 percent of the Japanese respondents went on self-guided tours but mainly on Oahu.
Swimming/sunbathing/beach, snorkeling/scuba diving and running/jogging/fitness walking were the three most popular recreation activities among visitors from the five major markets. The majority of the respondents in all market areas went swimming/sunbathing/beach on each of the islands they visited. Japanese respondents concentrated much of their swimming and sunbathing activities on Oahu.

Close to 80 percent of U.S. West, U.S. East, Canadian and European visitors surveyed participated in or attended cultural activities compared to about half of their Japanese counterparts on a statewide basis. Survey results also indicated that U.S., Canadian and European respondents generally visited one or more cultural attractions across all islands. In contrast, the majority of the Japanese respondents who participated in cultural activities did so mainly on Oahu.
Over half of all visitors surveyed attended some kind of in entertainment activity during their stay on all islands. Lunch/sunset/dinner/evening cruises were the most popular activities, followed by lounge acts/stage shows and nightclubs/dancing/bars/karaoke. Japanese visitors participated in these activities mainly on Oahu.

On a Statewide basis, a rental car was the top choice among U.S. West (81.4 percent), U.S. East (75.2 percent), Canadian (67.7 percent) and European (60.1 percent) visitors. The popularity of rental cars was even greater among these visitors on the Neighbor Islands and were consistent with their participation in self-guided tours. Other means of transportation for visitors from these markets were taxis/limousines, public buses and trolleys. In contrast, over half of the Japanese respondents toured the islands by trolleys (51.0 percent), followed by taxis or limousines (42.8 percent), public buses (29.4 percent) and rental cars (25.4 percent). More Japanese visitors used rental cars while on the Big Island than on any of the other islands.

”Trip Planning and Booking Time Table”

Results from the 2002 survey show a shorter planning and booking window for Japanese respondents compared to visitors from the other MMAs. U.S., Canada and Europe visitors took seven months or longer to decide to take vacation/pleasure trip and to come to Hawaii, over half of the Japanese respondents took less than three months to make these decisions. Over 80 percent of Japanese made their airline, lodging and car reservations and purchased their tickets and tour packages less than three months prior to their trip.

The usage of the Internet as a trip-planning tool has climbed in popularity with U.S. visitors over the years. The majority of the Canadian and European visitors surveyed also used the Internet for trip planning purposes. Although increasingly popular, Internet usage for trip planning among Japanese visitors is still lower compared to the other visitor groups.

”Visitor Profile:”

U.S. Visitors: Close to 53 percent of the U.S. visitors who responded to the 2002 survey were female. The average age was 48 years old. The majority (70 percent) of the respondents work, and nearly 20 percent have retired. Close to 60 percent of the respondents have some college or college degrees.

Japanese Visitors: The ratio of female to male Japanese visitors surveyed was similar to that of the U.S., but the average age was slightly younger at 45 years old. Close to 58 percent of the respondents work for a living, however there were more homemakers (20.7 percent) and fewer retirees (10.5 percent) compared to their U.S. counterparts.

About 55 percent have some college or college degrees.
Canadian Visitors: In contrast to U.S. and Japanese visitors surveyed more of the respondents from Canada were male (55.0 percent) than female (45.0 percent). The average age was a bit older at 51 years old. About 59 percent of the respondents work. More retirees (28.8 percent) from Canada responded to the survey compared to visitors from the other visitor markets. Over half (55.8 percent) of the respondents have some college or college degrees.

European Visitors: Nearly 62 percent of the European respondents were male and 38.3 percent were female. The average age was 46 years old. The largest group of respondents work for a living (69.9 percent), and 20.9 percent have retired. About 41 percent of the respondents have some college or college degrees.

”’For further information on the reports, contact the DBEDT’s Research and Economic Analysis Division at 586-2466. See the full report below. A limited number of the printed report is available for pick up at: DBEDT – Research & Analysis Division, One Capitol District Building, 250 South Hotel Street, 4th Floor, Diamond Head Wing, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813, Phone: (808) 586-2466”’

The 2002 Visitor Satisfaction and Activity Report is available in Adobe Acrobat format on the DBEDT Web Site. See the full report at: http://www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/files/vsar2002.pdf

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