TripAdvisor ranks Big Island as top 10 destination in US

The Big Island of Hawaii’s astounding natural beauty and endless opportunities for adventure have earned it a spot as one of TripAdvisor’s top destinations in the United States.

The Big Island is the southernmost and largest island has seen robust growth in tourism over the past four years. This has now culminated in the The Big Island rounding out the annual Travelers’ Award list. Craig Anderson, vice president of resort operations at Mauna Kea Resort said “We love our sister neighbor islands, but I think it’s about time the Big Island gets the respect it deserves.”

The naming of Hawaii Island as a top visitor spot is likely to fuel even more tourism to the island and the state on the heels of a record-breaking 2017 and an already strong start to 2018. The increased attention and exposure that this award brings, will also make real estate even more attractive to new buyers of vacation rentals and full-time residences.

In 2017, 9.38 million visitors arrived in Hawaii, surpassing the 2016 record of 8.9 million visitors by 5 percent. Visitor expenditures also set new records in 2017, with vacationers spending $16.78 billion across the state, according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

In 2017, the number of visitors arriving on The Big Island increased 13.7 percent to 1.76 million and the amount they spent rose 14.7 percent to $2.4 billion when compared with 2016. Visitors also stayed 11.2 percent more days on the island in 2017 than 2016.

The growth has continued into 2018, according to statistics for January released by the HTA. It is likely that the February data, although not yet available, will continue to follow the same pattern.

On Hawaii Island, more than 158,300 people arrived in January, a 5 percent increase over the same month in 2017. The amount they spent also increased to $268.2 million during the month, $1.8 million more than last year. It was also the highest monthly total ever recorded for the island.

Statewide, arrivals were up 5.4 percent with 796,483 people reaching the state. Those visitors spent $1.69 billion during January, the highest statewide total for visitor spending ever recorded in a single month in Hawaii’s history.

All of this data bodes well for the economy of the Big Island of Hawaii in 2018. The most recent statewide unemployment rate reported, stood at a minuscule 2.1%  The positive consumer sentiment prevalent on the mainland will result in more purchase activity in Hawaii by short-term visitors, prospective new residents, and investors.This, in turn, will increase the quality and availability of essential services such as medical, education and other opportunities for new businesses. This benefits our local economy and quality of life. So aloha to our visitors, the kind, generous people of The Big Island of Hawaii welcome you to our great island paradise.