Are the Economic Woes Wounding Hawaii Tourism?

Categorized as Hawaii Vacation Information

In 2010 Hawaii saw an increase in visitor numbers of about 9%. That strong tourism growth was continuing in early 2011 and was on a pace to set an all-time tourism record for the state before the earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused a severe drop in visitors from Japan.

The natural disasters in Japan have as well as other factors, including continued increases in the price of oil, have led to slight downward revisions in economic forecasts for the state though gradual growth is expected to continue.

With Hawaii seeing an increasing number of visitors, if you are one of them planning on flying to the island of Kauai, check out our Poipu condos located on the sunny South Shore.

Overall visitor arrival growth for Hawaii in 2011 is expected to be about 2.7% in 2011, followed by a 3 percent growth in 2012, according to the quarterly report of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) released in May of 2011. The number of Japanese visitors to Hawaii is expected to decline about 11% for the year and then grow about 10% in 2012.

At the time of the report Japanese arrivals were running about 25% below levels from the previous year. Due to the scope of the catastrophe, the recovery in Japan is expected to take several years though it is slowly beginning. A flight from Narita to Honolulu that had been suspended by Japan Airlines after the disaster has already been restored.

Along with rebounding tourism, overall job growth in Hawaii is expected to begin again in 2011 after three declining years. Renewed job growth in Hawaii in 2011 and 2012 is expected to come in part from construction related to Oahu’s rail project.

Payroll jobs in Hawaii, according to UHERO, is predicted to be 1.6% in 2011 followed by a 2.2% growth in 2012. The negative effects of rising oil prices and the natural disasters in Japan, according to the report, are being countered by an overall gradual strengthening of Hawaii’s economy allowing continued economic growth.

Hawaii saw a shrinking economy and a slowing in the Hawaii real estate market, in both 2008 and 2009 before experiencing modest growth in 2010. The forecast for 2011 is a 2.6% growth in Hawaii’s economy, a number that was adjusted downward from 2.7% forecasted before the tsunami.

According to the State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), Hawaii tourism is predicted to grow 3.8% in 2011 with visitor days increasing 5% and visitor expenditures also climbing 10.8%. The growth is expected to continue in 2012 with a 2.9% increase in visitors to Hawaii, 2.7% increase in visitor days and a 5.5% increase in visitor expenditures.

The DBEDT has forecast a positive growth for Hawaii’s economy for the remainder of 2011, also noting that Hawaii’s economic health depends significantly on key international economies such as Japan as well as the United States.

Economic growth (real GDP) in the U.S. is expected to rise by 2.7% in 2011 and 3.2% in 2012, according to the Blue Chip Economic Consensus Forecasts issued in May, 2011. These forecasts take into account the Japan earthquake and tsunami, which caused a slight downward revision in the numbers.

Economic growth for Japan was lowered to a forecasted .4% increase in 2011 (down from 1.5% previously forecasted) and 2.7% for 2012 (up from 1.8%). Hawaii’s economy is expected to show a 1.6% growth in 2011 (previously forecasted at 2%) and 2% growth in 2012.

With renewed job growth expected in Hawaii for 2011 and 2012, if you need to fly into Honolulu for business or pleasure, stay near the city in one of our Kahala vacation rentals.

Hawaii tourism is likely to show strong growth in the near future as world economies rebound from the economic downturn. Also helping the state’s tourism numbers is the popular new television series Hawaii Five-O bringing the states beautiful sights into the living rooms of millions of viewers around the world.