BY MIKE MCCARTNEY – Hawaiian Airlines’ new route re-opens Brisbane as a gateway to Hawai‘i, creating 41,184 additional air seats and is anticipated to generate up to $79 million in direct visitor spending and $8.6 million in tax revenue per year. Maintaining and increasing airlift continues to be important for our visitor industry to flourish, and we continue to work with our industry partners to develop healthy air access from emerging markets like Australia and New Zealand.
Oceania is one of Hawai‘i’s fastest growing visitor markets reporting year over year growth with 209,976 visitors in 2011, a 30.4 percent increase from the previous year. In 2012, the HTA forecasts reaching 264,866 visitor arrivals and $601 million in visitor expenditures. We anticipate this momentum to continue into 2013 with the launch of new service from Oceania including Hawaiian Airlines’ Auckland-Honolulu route next March.
Congratulations to Hawaiian Airlines on their growth and international expansion. We appreciate their efforts in helping us to connect the Hawaiian Islands with new global markets. We look forward to continuing to support them and our other airline and marketing partners in order to build upon the positive momentum that continues to benefit Hawai‘i’s tourism economy.
Mike McCartney is President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority