|2013 Visitor Stats from Hawaii Tourist Authority|
Recently, the Hawaii Tourism Authority released some good news about the increase in visitors to Hawaii in March. The 769,047 tourists that visited the islands was an increase of 7.6% from last March. The majority of the visitors came from the Western US states but the number of visitors from the rest of the US, Canada, Japan, and cruise ships were all up. There was also an increase in visitors from Oceania, China, Korea, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Latin America. Our take is that a lot of people from everywhere came to Hawaii, resulting in over 7% more tourists during the first three months of 2013 compared to the same time in 2012.
When Oahu has an increase in visitors, it does not always mean that more visitors show up on Hawaii Island. But the past few months we really noticed an increase in the number of visitors at the two hotels nearby and in vacation rentals inside our condo complex. We have met couples and groups of people from all over the world at the pool, on the beach, and in the grocery stores.
Many of the visitors we talked to have never been to Hawaii before. The increased violence and crime in Southern Europe, the Caribbean islands, and Mexico has forced them to change the location of their yearly tropical vacation. One couple’s biggest surprise was that Hawaii was no more expensive than an upscale resort in Mexico. Many people think Hawaii is really expensive and Mexico is really cheap, but the 5-star resorts in Mexico are very pricey. They thought the food was better in Hawaii and they were not having the stomach problems they frequently get in Mexico. They were also happy that there were no troops patrolling their hotel with machine guns and were not scared to go out at night.
Many US Universities had their Spring breaks in March instead of April because Easter was early this year. We noticed large groups of college age visitors rented condos during March, we assume for Spring break. The strongly worded warnings from the State Department about the violence in Mexico and the Caribbean may be partly the reason for the large number of young people on the island. Though they loved the sun and beach, they looked bored with the lack of night life on Hawaii Island.
We hope the new visitors to the island will not only return, but tell their friends about their great Hawaii vacation.