Worrying days for DFS as Japanese arrivals to Hawaii slump -9.1% in July – 05/09/06

A soft Yen has been the key factor behind the decline in Japanese visitors while the rebound of travel to South Korea and China has not helped

HAWAII. July was another poor month for Japanese arrivals to Hawaii with a -9.1% decline compared with the same month last year to 116,921 visitors.

That grim statistic continued 2006’s tale of woe for retailers dependent on the Japanese spend, notably DFS Group. Japanese visitor days have declined by -10.9% for the year-to-date, due to a -9.1% fall (the same percentage as July) in visitor arrivals to 784,068. The average length of stay among Japanese visitors was 5.57 days, a decrease of -2.1%.

One of the major factors in the softening of the market has been the weakening Yen against the US Dollar. Overnight it stood at just under Â¥116 to the greenback. Japanese travel to China and South Korea, affected by the two countries’ concerns over Japan’s war past last year, has also bounced back, putting further pressure on Hawaii as a destination choice.

Overall Hawaii visitor expenditures in July increased +0.3% to US$1.2 billion, due to a +4.4% rise in average daily spending in July 2006, a record month, according to preliminary data released by the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT). Total visitor spending for the year has increased +4.6% to US$7 billion.

Domestic arrivals in July reached 564,294 visitors, resulting in a fourth straight month of positive growth (+0.9%). However in a more telling statistic international arrivals and international visitor days were down -10.6% and -20.9%, respectively. Total arrivals to Hawaii fell short of last July’s record and experienced the first month of decline (-1.9%) after three months of positive growth. Total visitor days for July 2006 were also down -4%.

Total visitor days for the first seven months of 2006 rose to 40.2 million days, a slight increase from last year (-0.6%). Domestic arrivals increased +2.5% and international arrivals decreased +5.2%, which kept growth in total arrivals flat at +0.3%. Canada showed a +9.4% increase in arrivals.


“˜Lethargic’ Hawaii and North American demand depresses Japanese wholesaler bookings – 09/08/06

Japanese travel slump to Hawaii continues in June – 01/08/06

Key Asian markets drive DFS growth; Hawaii, Saipan and Australasia soft, says LVMH – 25/07/06

Sharp decline in Japanese arrivals taints record May in Hawaii for visitor numbers – 03/07/06

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