October 2013 was the second month that total visitor expenditures (-2.6 percent to $1.1 billion) and visitor arrivals (-1.6 percent to 636,245 visitors) to Hawai'i were less than the previous year, according to preliminary statistics released by the Hawai'i Tourism Authority.
Hawai'i has witnessed slower growth in visitor arrivals since July 2013.
The average daily visitor spending for October 2013 was down 1.5 percent to $195 per person. For the first ten months of 2013, total visitor expenditures (+3.4 percent to $12.1 billion) and arrivals (+3.9 percent to 6,893,038 visitors) remained ahead of year-to-date 2012.
Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawai'i Tourism Authority, noted that Maui maintains positive growth in visitor expenditures and arrivals year-to-date.
He said that while HTA anticipates exceeding visitor arrival and spending records reached in 2012, the declines experienced in September and October are expected to continue through the remainder of this year and into 2014.
Maui continues to outpace 2012 in all areas, including total expenditures (+8.7 percent to $3,071.0 million), visitor days (+3.3 percent to 15,829,697) and per person per day spending (+5.2 percent to $194), year-to-date.
"Visitors have become more conscientious of their spending as the cost of a Hawai'i vacation continues to rise. This trend has caused a shortening in the average length of stay. Currency exchange rates and competitive pricing are also affecting visitor arrivals and spending, and may contribute to continued declines and potentially move market share to competing destinations," McCartney said.
"As airlines adjust their flights and routes to match demand, we are seeing declines in seat inventory from the U.S. Mainland. While there has been steady growth in air seats from international destinations through our efforts to diversify our markets, we are monitoring how domestic market declines and trends could impact all markets. We continue to work with our marketing contractors in adjusting our plans and initiatives through 2014."