Increased Visitors, Spending on Molokai

Visitors to Molokai are slightly on the rise, according to data released last week by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. The number of tourists arriving on the island by air increased almost two percent in the first six months of 2013 from the same period last year — 27,738 people from January to June of this year, compared to 27,270 in 2012. Visitors coming to Molokai by boat increased by more than 33 percent — from 2,266 last year to 3,018 in 2013 as of last month. Those numbers are for visitors stopping on Molokai among other islands in Hawaii. For those vacationing on Molokai only, the number dropped from 3,978 people in the first six months of last year to 3,625 this year — an almost nine percent drop.

The amount of money spent by visitors on Molokai has increased since last year. Total expenditure in the first six months of 2013 is $16 million, whereas this time last year saw $13.9 million — or a 15.5 percent increase in revenue from tourism. The per person per day spending of the average visitor on Molokai also increased by nearly 19 percent– from $102.40 per day last year to $121.5 so far this year.

About 75 percent of visitors to Molokai by air are domestic travelers from the U.S. mainland, while about a quarter are arriving from other parts of the world. They stay an average length of nearly five days on Molokai — 4.97 days last year to 4.76 so far this year, or a drop of about 4 percent duration.

Despite slight increases in visitor numbers arriving by air in the past year, Molokai historically hosted many more visitors. Five years ago in 2008, the island had 39,317 visitors during January through June. Ten years ago, the same period had 53,483 visitors in 1993 — almost double this year’s numbers.


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