Hawaii Tourism Authority has reported on our latest visitor statistics for 2016. Here is a recap of their data and our interpretation of what to expect for Hawaii deals. We have also included tips on how you can still save loads of money on your next Hawaii vacation.
Hawaii Visitor Spending and Numbers Increase
Things are continuing to look great for Hawaii’s all important tourism industry. Visitors in 2016 were 8.9 million as arrivals and spending surged to create new records for the 5th year in a row. Total spent was $15.6 billion.
The increase in Hawaii tourism is based on strong vacation demand, the allure of the islands, the safety and ease of a domestic vs. international vacation, a strong domestic real estate market and continued good prices for Hawaii airfares.
What Hawaii Tourism Numbers Mean to You
1. Hawaii tourism has both rebounded and stabilized. That’s now true even during off-peak season travel of late summer, fall and spring, making a cheap Hawaii vacation a bit more challenging, although value is still here to be found.
2. Accommodations continue to largely determine vacation cost. Vacation rental growth was double (7%) that of hotel growth (3.5%). Nightly room rates at Hawaii hotels are generally quite high. We continue to monitor for deals in that area and we find ourselves staying in Hawaii vacation rentals and/or using Airbnb more.
3. Flights to Hawaii. Availability of reasonably priced Hawaii airline seats remains the single most important determinant of Hawaii tourism’s health. That’s true even though the largest cost of a Hawaii vacation is typically not the cost of flights to Hawaii, but rather Hawaii accommodations. Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines continue to have sporadic Hawaii airfare sales, as recently as last week.
How to Fight Increasing Hawaii Vacation Costs
1. While off-season rates have increased, you’ll still save as much as 50% off peak summer and holiday travel costs. Read The Best Time to Visit Hawaii for Deals.
2. As they say, timing is everything. See When to Buy Tickets for Travel Year-Round.
3. Some mainland cities have deals to Hawaii, even in summer and at the holidays. Go to Fly from Cities with the Cheapest Flights to Hawaii.
4. Read our post on another big Hawaii vacation cost: Cheap Hawaii Car Rentals. Reserve rental car at time of flight reservation. Then check closer to departure to see if rates are lower.
5. Negotiate lower rate directly from hotel or book vacation rentals from the source instead of a third party to whom the provider is paying a significant percentage. For example, if you find a hotel deal on another site, call the hotel first to see if they will match or do better. If you see a vacation rental listed on VRBO, call the management company first to check for best rates.
6. Buy a Go Card like we did. We just saved $123 each on unforgettable Oahu activities.