Hawaii Tourism Sets a New Record

Posted by Admin

By James McAluney

2015 was a record setting year for Hawaii, for the fourth consecutive year in a row. Over eight and half million people visited Hawaii throughout the year, which is a 4.1% increase from 2014. Most visitors came from the Western United States, followed by the Eastern United States. Japan and Canada produced the most tourists from outside of the states.

Tourism generates a large amount of Hawaii’s economy. 2015 brought in a record total of $15.2 billion, which was a 2.3% increase from 2014. On its own, Hawaii has a sub-par economy, and tourism is what carries the state and builds jobs and opportunities and growth, and helps maintain infrastructure.

Airlines are the main way in which people arrive in Hawaii and three new airlines joined the lineup in late 2015. Virgin America began two new routes from San Francisco, one to Honolulu and one to Maui. For the growing number of visitors from Asia, AirAsia X flies from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Japan and on to Honolulu. Jin Air flies from Seoul in South Korea to Honolulu. Although ticket prices are not necessarily getting any cheaper, there will be more flights and seats available for booking a trip.

George Szigeti, the president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority states that “This consistency of success signifies how compelling Hawaii’s brand is to global travelers. Hawaii’s marketing message is being well received in key markets and our industry partners deserve credit for how they have evolved their product offerings to match the diversified interests of today’s travelers.”

There are a few exciting new additions being planned for tourists going to Hawaii in 2016. For those who love to shop, the International Market Place is completing an upgrade in the summer. It will now house 75 retailers, 7 restaurants and a Saks Fifth Avenue department store. For outdoor lovers, the National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday in August. For $25, visitors can purchase a pass to see all three national parks in Hawaii: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park on Hawaii Island, and Haleakala National Park on Maui.

Four Seasons Hotels completed a renovation in February and now features Hawaiian culture and history. There are 217 newly updated guestrooms and 51 suites, new dining options, an updated spa, and a new pro shop for the Jack Nicklaus Signature Manele Golf Course. Four Seasons is also opening a new resort on Oahu with reservations beginning June 1st.

What does all of this mean? If you are planning a trip to Hawaii, be sure to plan far enough in advance to get cheaper plane tickets and hotel rooms available at the places that you wish to stay. As tourist numbers grow, it will become more difficult to keep up with the demand of numbers and prices may rise. Try staying on the less visited islands or traveling during non peak seasons to keep costs down.