hawaii 2NEARLY half of Hawaii’s visitors are lured back to the archipelago at least once within five years of their first visit, Kerri Anderson – Country Manager Australia, Hawaii Tourism Oceania told travelBulletin.

“Feedback from our partners both in Australia and in Hawaii is that Australians’ love affair with Hawaii is as strong as ever with strong interest and forward bookings,” Anderson said.

Last year saw a record number of Aussies heading to Hawaii, with a total of 333,998 Australian visitors, a 7.8% jump on 2014.

This year’s visitor numbers haven’t quite lived up to last year’s glory, with a slowdown of growth – which Anderson attributes to the low AUD – but year-on-year figures so far are still up 0.5%. Oahu continues to be the most popular island with 324,360 Australians visiting in 2015 – up 8.3% on the previous year, followed by Maui, which enticed over 61,000 Australians in 2015.

“Australians particularly like the large number of accommodation options on the island – from high-end five-star resorts, to condos that offer greater flexibility for family groups and longer-staying travellers,” Anderson said.

“Maui also has a huge variety of activities from shopping to relaxing, water sports and adventure and nature experiences.”

Despite shopping continuing to be the most popular activity for Australians in Hawaii, Anderson says Hawaii is seen as much more than a “fly, flop and shop” destination.

According to Roy Morgan research undertaken by the Hawaii Tourism Authority in 2015, Australian visitors undertook a wider range of activities, particularly outdoors activities, than general long trip travellers.

“Hawaii isn’t a “single proposition” destination – each island is very different,” Anderson explained.

“This, combined with Hawaii’s culture, people, incredible nature and of course, the famous Aloha Spirit, gives Australians a compelling reason to visit – and once they go, they love it.”

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