Following two years of record-breaking growth, tourism officials say Hawaii’s tourism economy is starting to plateau.
According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, while visitor arrivals in January are on pace with last year’s numbers which contributed to a record of 8.2 million annual visitors, expenditures were down 4.7 percent compared to the same period last year. Each visitor that came to the Hawaiian Islands in January spent $10 less per day than the average $201 in visitor daily spending from last January.
Fluctuating currency exchange rates, growing competition and the increasing cost of a Hawaiian vacation were all factors contributing to the losses in visitor spending. HTA says it expects the trend to continue into the first and second quarters of 2014.
“This year will be challenging for our tourism economy with increased global competition and the volatility of the world economy,” said Mike McCartney, HTA President and CEO in a statement. “The HTA and our marketing partners continue to monitor global economic conditions and travel trends to adjust marketing strategies and implement programs that will keep the Hawaiians Islands top-of-mind as a visitor destination.”