HONOLULU--()--Hawai‘i’s tourism industry sets new visitor spending and arrival records in 2012, reports the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), the state’s agency for tourism. Visitor spending in 2012 reached $14.3 billion, surpassing the previous record of $12.8 billion set in 2007, according to preliminary statistics released today. Visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands also reached a new record of 7,998,815 exceeding the 2006 record of 7,628,118.
“This success can be attributed to strong growth in arrivals from Asia and more direct flights to Hawai‘i from the mainland U.S. and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.”
“This was Hawai‘i’s busiest year on record, contributing more than $1.5 billion in tax revenue for the state and helping to drive our overall economic recovery,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the HTA. “This success can be attributed to strong growth in arrivals from Asia and more direct flights to Hawai‘i from the mainland U.S. and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.”
As an island state, adequate air seat capacity to the Hawaiian Islands is critical to the success of the industry and economy. In 2012, the number of air seats increased 8.5 percent compared to 2011, translating to nearly 800,000 more seats to the state.
While the West Coast remains Hawai‘i’s core visitor market, visitor arrivals and spending from Japan, China, Korea, Australia and New Zealand increased significantly in 2012. With new additional direct flights commencing in 2013 and Taiwan’s acceptance into the U.S. visa waiver program, the HTA anticipates continual growth from the Asia-Pacific region.
“As we look to 2013, we are optimistic for another strong year for tourism in Hawai‘i, targeting $14.88 billion in visitor spending and 8.2 million arrivals. We will continue to work with our industry partners to focus on increasing direct airlift, while creating unique experiences that share our people, place and culture, not found anywhere else in the world,” added McCartney.
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The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority is a state agency established by law in 1998 to ensure a successful visitor industry and tourism economy in the state of Hawai‘i. The HTA works to direct Hawai‘i tourism in a sustainable manner consistent with our economic goals, cultural values, preservation of natural resources, community desires and visitor industry needs. For more information, please visit www.hawaiitourismauthority.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.