The Hawaii Tourism Authority on Wednesday said a total of 10,424,995 visitors came to Hawaii in 2019, an increase of 5.4 percent from the 9,888,845 visitors the year before.

On average there were 249,021 visitors in the Hawaiian Islands on any given day last year.

Visitors also spent generously — $17.75 billion, an increase of 1.4% compared to 2018.

The figures are preliminary, and the dollar amounts have not been adjusted for inflation.

Crowded Diamond Head stairs to lookout.
Visitors crowd the stairs to Diamond Head, June 2019. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2019

But the spending, said HTA, includes lodging, interisland airfare, shopping, food, car rental and other expenses “while in Hawaii.”

All that spending generated $2.07 billion in state tax revenue in 2019, also an increase from 2018, said HTA.

Statistics varied by island, but, unlike the other main islands, Kauai reported drops in three ways: decreases in visitor spending (-4.7% to $1.90 billion), daily spending (-2.2%) and visitor arrivals (-1.0% to 1,374,944).

By contrast, in 2019 Oahu recorded increases in visitor spending (+2.8% to $8.19 billion) and visitor arrivals (+5.6% to 6,193,027), but daily spending declined (-1.6%) compared to 2018.

On a related note, read Civil Beat’s ongoing series Tourism’s Tipping Point.

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