The Hawai’i Tourism Authority hosted its Spring Marketing Update today. As HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports, the tourism industry does not appear to be slowing down.
Non-stop Airline seats to Hawai’i are scheduled to increase this year from the U.S. mainland, New Zealand and Canada. Caroline Anderson is the Hawai’i Tourism Authority U.S. Brand manager.
“An additional 584-thousand seats will be coming into the market for the first half of this year. And, that’s a 14.4 percent increase. There is an increase direct air access to the neighbor islands as well.”
That’s nearly 2 million airline seats from the Western mainland, which makes up nearly 1/3 of Hawai’i’s tourism market. Japan carrying capacity is expected to decrease by 1 percent this year but Air New Zealand and Hawaiian Airlines should make up for that by adding more flights from Aukland and increasing total seats by 49 percent. Darrah Walshe is the New Zealand country manager.
“We’ve just done 400K visitors; we have a very healthy length of stay: 9.5 days; and we also contribute a billion dollars to the Hawai’i economy. And we have a very healthy per-person, per-day spends of over $272.”
Airline seats from Canada, meanwhile, are also increasing for budget minded Canadian travelers who comprise the second largest international market behind Japan. Collin Wood is the country’s marketing manager.
“Air Canada is introducing new service to Kaua’i with its new main line Boeing 737 max 8 this winter and doubling the frequency of its flights from Western Canada to Honolulu, Maui and Kona. And other sun destinations will feature Air Canada’s 737. This is really good news.”
But, as the airlines maximize lift and take advantage of projected stable fuel prices over the next 5 years, vice president for marketing and product development, Leslie Dance, says H-T-A is not focused on increasing the number of visitors but targeting avid travelers with more disposable income, like those in China.
“We’re looking at the higher spending visitor from the Chinese market and we’re really in our marketing efforts in China and Hong Kong and Taiwan, we’re looking at those people and marketing directly to them. We have a healthy budget but we don’t have enough money to do big advertising campaigns in every country we’re marketing.”
For HPR News, I’m Wayne Yoshioka.