Total expenditures by visitors who came to Hawai'i in February 2012 rose 8.5 percent, or by $85.7 million, to $1.099 billion, according to preliminary statistics released Thursday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
Daily visitor spending was up $183 per person, an increase from $179 per person in February 2011.
The extra leap-day in February 2012 further augmented total visitor spending and arrivals.
Total arrivals in February 2012 rose 5.6 percent to 626,367 visitors.
"The Hawaii Tourism Authority will remain vigilant and continue to monitor the rising fuel prices and how it may affect people's decision to travel this year," said HTA President and CEO Mike McCartney. "However, we are optimistic that the increases in airlift through the second and third quarter, coupled with the anticipated announcement of new service, are indicative that there continues to be high demand for travels to the Hawaiian Islands."
Factoring out the extra day, average daily census showed that actual growth was up 2.5 percent over a year ago, which was 207,298 visitors per day in February 2012.
An adjusted total visitor spending of $1.061 billion would still be 4.7 percent above February 2011 levels.
February's performance contributed to an 11.4 percent increase in visitor expenditures to $2.44 billion for the first two months of 2012; and total arrivals rose 6.7 percent to 1,269,983 visitors.
The average daily census showed 216,787 visitors in the first two months of 2012, up 5.7 percent compared to the same period last year.
Among the top four visitor markets, arrivals by air from Canada rose 9.6 percent and the average daily census grew 11.4 percent from February 2011.