USA. Japanese arrivals to Hawaii, vital to DFS Group and other tourism-led retailers, grew +3.1% year-on-year in November to 133,521 but their total spending dropped -0.4% to US$182.7 million.

The newly published preliminary Hawaii Tourism Authority figures also showed that Japanese spending per person per trip was down by -3.4% on November 2018 to US$1,368.40.

For the first 11 months of 2017, Japanese arrivals fell by -1.5% to 1,440,289, while their total spending rose +1.9% (see table below). This disparity was driven by individual Japanese visitors spending +3.1% more per day and +3.5% more per trip than in the same period in 2017. Tourism was heavily disrupted by the eruption of the Kilauea volcano in May.

More Japanese visitors made their own travel arrangements in November (+21.9%) while fewer purchased group tours (-14.6%) and package trips (-6.5%).

DFS Group’s sales at its T Galleria downtown (above) and shops at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (below) are strongly influenced by Japanese spending trends. [All photos:]



China and Korea markets soften

Chinese visitor arrivals declined in both November (-11.9% to 6,506) and through the first 11 months (-9.5% to 128.485) compared to the previous year. The important Korean market saw even sharper declines with November visitor arrivals down -42.2% year-on-year to 15,512 and year-to-date figures off by -9.1% to 211,463.

Year-to-date through the first 11 months of 2018, visitors to the Hawaiian Islands spent a total of US$16.2 billion, an increase of +8.0% compared to the same period in 2017.