Aussies lead surge in visitor numbers to Hawaii

first_imgThe immediate future for Hawaiian tourism looks bright A large upsurge in visitor numbers from Australia helped Hawaii achieve a year-on-year 3.8 per cent increase in tourist arrivals in 2011.According to state tourism officials, last year Hawaii welcomed 7.3 million visitors to its shores, while visitor spending rose to US$12.58 billion, just short of the record $12.62 billion spent in 2007.    And whilst U.S. arrivals to the Aloha State grew slightly, the biggest gains came from countries like Australia, China, New Zealand, South Korea and Canada.  With the Australian dollar still soaring, and with the number of direct flights and airlift from Down Under on the rise, Aussie visitor numbers to Hawaii surged 32.1 per cent in 2011. A similar pattern of growth saw New Zealand increase visitor arrivals by 28.3 per cent. A record 79,531 Chinese tourists landed on Hawaiian shores last year, up 29.4 per cent on 2010, while Korean visitors climbed 23.2 per cent to 100,702.Along with a 17.9 per cent rise (to 477,567) in the number of Canadians visiting the islands, this growth helped offset visits from Japan, which fell 5.1 per cent to 1.18 million.   With tourism expenditure in December reaching a monthly record $1.3 billion and with arrival numbers for the month up 7.8 per cent to 683,293, Hawaii Tourism Authority president and chief executive Mike McCartney was cautiously optimistic for 2012. “Since 2009, we have seen consistent growth in our tourism economy that has helped us achieve these strong numbers,” Mr McCartney said in a statement. “However, we recognize that we are still recovering from hard economic times, and businesses continue to face challenges.“We will continue to work together with our marketing partners and the visitor industry to sustain the momentum we saw last year and achieve steady growth for another momentous year in 2012.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img