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Tourists set new mark for spending in December

LIHU‘E — Visitor spending shattered the $200 million barrier and set a new high for the month of December, despite a decrease in the number of tourists coming to the island of Kaua‘i.

Total visitor spending was $266 million in December 2023, compared with $200.1 million in December 2022 and $175.1 million in pre-pandemic December 2019.

Those figures represented increases of 32.9 percent and 51.9 percent, respectively, according to a monthly report from the state of Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development &Tourism (DBEDT).

The leap in spending came amid a downturn in tourists, as the visitor count dipped to 120,290 in December 2023 from 122,177 in December 2022 and 124,356 in December 2019. That marked decreases of 1.5 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.

Across the Hawaiian Island chain, visitor spending was up on O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island but down on Maui, which continues to recover from the deadly Lahaina Fire on Aug. 8, 2023.

Visitor spending on O‘ahu climbed to $885.1 million in December 2023 from $874.2 million in December 2022 and $778.4 million in December 2019 for gains of 1.3 percent and 13.7 percent, respectively.

Visitor spending on Hawai‘i Island jumped to $309.5 million in December 2023 from $295.2 in December 2022 and $262.4 million in December 2019 for increases of 4.9 percent and 17.9 percent, respectively.

Visitor spending on Maui fell to $464.4 million in December 2023 from $583.6 million in December 2022 and $513.1 million in December 2019 for decreases of 20.4 percent and 9.5 percent, respectively.
Source: The Garden Island

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