Oct. 30—The sluggish return of visitors to Maui after the August wildfires and to the state from North America caused September arrivals and spending numbers statewide to drop year-over-year for the second month in a row.
Some 651,286 visitors came to the Hawaiian islands in September down 7.4% from September 2022 and moving the pre-pandemic arrivals recovery back to 88.5% from September of 2019, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT).
Nominal visitor spending, which hasn't been adjusted to show the relative price over time, fell 9.6% 6o $1.37 billion in September. However, nominal spending in September was still 10.2% higher than in September 2o19 when it was $1.25 billion.
Year-over-year September results varied across the islands and across tourist source markets. Visitors from the U.S. West, Hawaii's top visitor source market, posted year-over-year drops in arrivals and nominal spending as did visitors from Canada.
Japan rebounded enough to reclaim its place as Hawaii's third-largest source market. Arrivals from Japan in September rose 87.9% year-over-year to 51,350 visitors; however, that was still down 64.3% from the pre-pandemic September 2019 when 143,928 visitors from Japan came to Hawaii.
Visitors from Japan spent $79.6 million on a nominal basis in September 2023. That was up 66.5% from September 2022, but down 59.5% from September 2019 when nominal spending reached $196.5 million.
Arrivals from the category all other markets, which included visitors from Oceania, Other Asia, Europe, Latin America, Guam, the Philippines, and the Pacific Islands, rose 19.5% from September 2022. However, they were still down 19.2% from 2019.
Visitors to Oahu in September rose 12.5% to 433,209, while nominal spending fell -3.2% to $676.6 million.
Visitors to Maui plummeted 57.1% to 94,221 visitors in September, while nominal spending plunged 52.6% to $203.2 million.
Visitors to Kauai rose 10.3% to 115,305 in September and nominal spending increased 28.9% to $224.2 million.
Arrivals on Hawaii island rose 8.6% to 129,444. Nominal spending on Hawaii island increased 28.7% to $254.8 million.