LIHU‘E — A robust tourism industry is on pace to surpass $2 billion in visitor spending this year, in large part to a stellar start to the 2023 season on Kaua‘i.
For the fourth month in a row, visitor spending exceeded $200 million, with tourists ponying up $211.9 million in April, according to a monthly report from the state Department of Business, Economic Development &Tourism.
That marked an increase of 20.2 percent from the $176.3 million visitors spent in April 2022 and 56 percent from the $135.8 million spent in pre-pandemic April 2019.
The surge in spending came amid a slight increase in the number of people who visited the island in the first full month of spring. There were a total of 118,156 visitors to Kaua‘i in April, up 2.2 percent from 115,578 in April 2022 and 11.3 percent from 106,181 in April 2019.
The most recent numbers helped push total visitor spending to $872.8 million in the fourth-month period ended April 30. That was up 35.0 percent from $646.6 million in the four-month period ended April 30, 2022, and 41.3 percent from $617.7 million in the four-month period ended April 30, 2019.
At the same time, the number of people who visited Kaua‘i climbed to 448,247 from 395,379 and 439,643. That marked increases of 13.4 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively.
The three other main Hawaiian Islands also proved popular in April, with all posting substantial gains in visitor spending and total visitor counts.
“April marked the 24th consecutive month where visitor arrivals from the U.S. mainland exceeded 2019 monthly levels for those respective months. April U.S. visitor arrivals were 19 percent higher than the same month in 2019,” said James Kunane Tokioka, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development &Tourism, in a statement that accompanied the monthly report.
O‘ahu racked up the most visitors, with 454,287 in April, compared with 416,285 in April 2022 and 487,367 in April 2019. Visitor spending rose to $723.7 million in April from $703.4 million in April 2022 and $613.3 million in April 2019.
Maui ranked second with 243,245 visitors in April, compared with 254,398 in April 2022 and 247,984 in April 2019. In the same respective periods, visitor spending measured $544.8 million, $496.7 million and $398.6 million.
Hawai‘i Island pulled in 138,448 visitors in April, compared with 140,302 in April 2022 and 130,224 in April 2019. Visitor spending came in at $217.5 million, $199.3 million and $149.1 million in the same respective periods.
Wyatt Haupt Jr., editor, can be reached at 808-245-0457 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island