BY MIKE MCCARTNEY – Double-digit increases in visitor expenditures across the four major islands and Moloka‘i for September contributed to an increase of $1.7 billion, to $10.7 billion, in year-to-date spending over 2011.
While arrivals increased at a slower rate than recent months, we were extremely pleased that the pace of expenditure growth has not weakened.
As we head into the fourth quarter, we anticipate the momentum to continue with increases in airlift thanks to new routes by Hawaiian Airlines from Sapporo and Brisbane, Allegiant Airlines from the West Coast, and Jetstar from Melbourne.
These new routes are all servicing secondary cities, which will provide greater ease of access for visitors to come to the Hawaiian Islands. Festivals and events, including the Jazz Festival and Diamond Head Classic, will also help to draw visitors this quarter.
We are encouraged by the growth we have seen in expenditures and arrivals for the year so far, and remain committed to working with the industry and our global marketing partners to achieve our targets of $13.9 billion in expenditures and 7.9 million visitor arrivals by the end of 2012.
Mike McCartney is the president & CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority