Friday, October 1, 2010

Visitors Practically Beating Down Hawaii’s Doors

Visitor spending on Oahu in August increased 32.9 percent to $571.7 million compared to a year earlier, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

If Yes2Rail’s calculator isn’t acting up, that means transit tax revenues from Oahu visitor expenditures increased nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in August compared to the level of August 2009.

Through August, visitor arrivals on Oahu are up this year 6.7 percent over last year. Total expenditures have increased 10.5 percent, total visitor days are up 8.3 percent – in fact, every measure of the visitor industry’s health on Oahu compares favorably with August '09.

Why do we keep mentioning tourism’s resurgence, month after month? Because it speaks directly to the City’s comments time and again in the depths of the recession that the economy moves in cycles, and the downturn would be followed by an upturn.

We’re in that upturn, and it’s expected to carry on for years, according to the Council on Revenues, which has predicted strong growth in Hawaii General Fund tax revenues through 2017.

Despite the hand-wringing by the naysayers, Doomsday isn’t anywhere in sight, and rail tax revenues are doing just fine.

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