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|Posted on August 27, 2014 at 6:14 PM||comments (178)|
11:52 AM HST Aug 27, 2014
HONOLULU —Total expenditures by visitors who came to Hawai'i in July 2014 rose 2.6 percent from the same month last year to $1.4 billion, according to preliminary statistics released Wednesday by the Hawai'i Tourism Authority.
While total arrivals grew 2.5 percent to 772,106 visitors, a shorter average length of stay (-3 percent to 9.12 days) resulted in flat growth in visitor days (-0.6 percent). Average daily spending was higher for most visitor markets compared to July 2013.
In July 2014, arrivals by air increased 2.4 percent to 771,244 visitors and one cruise ship visited Hawai'i with 863 visitors (+80 percent).
"Last month was the highest July on record for our state in both visitor spending (+2.6 percent to $1.35 billion) and arrivals (+2.5 percent to 772,106)," said HTA President and CEO Mike McCartney. "Year-to-date, we continue to pace ahead of the record-breaking year for our tourism economy in 2013, with nearly $212 million more in visitor expenditures and $23 million in additional tax revenue to the state in comparison to the same period last year."
Arrivals by air from U.S. West rose 5.1 percent to 327,325 visitors in July 2014, the first increase after 11 months of declines. Increased daily spending (+4.5 percent to $155 per person) also contributed to a 7.4 percent growth in U.S. West visitor expenditures to $483.9 million. While U.S. East arrivals of 175,739 visitors declined 1 percent from July 2013, higher daily spending (+5.6 percent to $207 per person) led to a 4.2 percent gain in visitor expenditures to $380.1 million.
"While we initially projected a slight decline in air seats from North America, we have seen a slight growth with Delta Air Lines adding additional flights and Hawaiian Airlines redeploying aircrafts that were previously used for international routes," said McCartney. "Our focus will be to ensure there is sufficient demand to sustain this increase in seats from our core U.S. market."
Expenditures by Japanese visitors rose 3.1 percent to $205.7 million in July 2014, bolstered by growth in arrivals (+1.6 percent to 131,229 visitors) and increased daily spending (+7 percent to $268 per person).
During their low season, Canadian visitors spent a total of $44.6 million, down 16 percent from July 2013. Canadian arrivals dropped 7.4 percent to 27,790 visitors. Arrivals from All Other markets totaled 112,162 visitors (+3.9 percent) with combined expenditures of $238.2 million (-5.1 percent).
Among the four larger Hawaiian Islands, arrivals grew on Kaua'i (+3.1 percent), Hawai'i Island (+3 percent) and O'ahu (+1.5 percent), while Maui remained stable (+0.2 percent) compared to July 2013. Visitor expenditures increased on Maui (+8.2 percent), Kaua'i (+5 percent) and Hawai'i Island (+1.7 percent) while visitors expenditures on O'ahu were unchanged. However, this month, visitors stayed a shorter period of time on each island compared to July 2013.
"We continue to monitor travel trends for the state, including adjustments in visitor spending and length of stay to accommodate vacation costs and budgets. With visitor expenditures up on the neighbor islands, with an exception to Lana'i, we are pleased that our collective efforts to increase visitor distribution across the state continue to result in increased dollars and other economic benefits to the neighbor islands," said McCartney.
Air capacity to Hawai'i was up 3.7 percent to 1,032,625 total air seats in July 2014. Scheduled seats from Canada (+21.2 percent), Other Asia (+17.1 percent), Oceania (+8 percent), U.S. West (+6 percent) and U.S. East (+4.2 percent) increased, offsetting fewer seats from Japan (-5 percent).
|Posted on October 2, 2013 at 7:19 PM||comments (395)|
Oct. 1, 2013 - What Does the Government Shutdown Mean for REALTORS®?
Congress has failed to approve a Continuing Resolution (CR) providing funding for most government operations. Therefore, spending authority for most of the government expired at midnight on Sept. 30, 2013. Until legislation providing for funding is signed into law, many offices and programs of the federal government are now shut down. This means many, but not all, government programs, including some that impact federal housing and mortgage programs, have been suspended or slowed due to the lapse in government funding. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires each agency to have contingency plans in place. The information below is based on NAR staff review of agency agency contingency plans for the current shutdown and past experience with previous shutdowns and near-shutdowns. Download PDF summary.Latest Status Information
(as of Oct. 1, 2013 3PM ET)
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The IRS is closed and has suspended the processing of all forms, including tax return transcripts (Form 4506T). These transcripts are required for many kinds of loans, including FHA and VA, so delays can be expected if the shutdown is protracted.
Social Security Administration (SSA)Additional Status Information
The Social Security Administration is closed and has suspended most customer service functions. According to the SSA Contingency Plan, verifying Social Security numbers through the Consent Based SSN Verification Service will also be suspended during the shutdown, a further complication for mortgage processing.
(as of Oct. 1, 2013 7AM ET)
Federal Housing Administration
HUD’s Contingency Plan states that FHA will endorse new loans in the Single Family Mortgage Loan Program, but it will not make new commitments in the Multi-family Program during the shutdown. FHA will maintain operational activities including paying claims and collecting premiums. Management & Marketing (M&M) Contractors managing the REO portfolio can continue to operate. You can expect some delays with FHA processing.
VA Loan Guaranty Program
Lenders will continue to process and guaranty mortgages through the Loan Guaranty program in the event of a government shutdown. Expect some delays during the shutdown.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confirmed that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will not be impacted by a government shutdown, since NFIP is funded by premiums and not tax dollars. Changes to the flood insurance program scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1 will be implemented as scheduled.
Rural Housing Programs
For the U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, essential personnel working during a shutdown do not include field office staff who typically issue conditional commitments, loan note guarantees, and modification approvals. Thus, lenders will not receive approvals during the shutdown. If the lender has already received a conditional commitment from the Rural Development office, then the lender may proceed to close those loans during the shutdown. A conditional commitment, which is good for 90 days, is given to a lender once a USDA Underwriter approves the loan. If a commitment was already issued, the funds were already set aside and the lender may close the loan at its leisure. If Rural Development has not issued a conditional commitment, the lender must wait until funding legislation is enacted before closing a loan.
It is important to note that the traditional definition of “rural” for qualifying communities for assistance will be continued in effect during the shutdown. We expect that language to continue the current definition will be included in whatever funding measure is eventually enacted.
Government Sponsored Enterprises
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue operating normally, as will their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, since they are not reliant on appropriated funds.
The Making Home Affordable program, including HAMP and HAFA, will not be affected as the program is funded through the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act which is mandatory spending not discretionary.
The latest information will continue to be posted torealtor.org/governmentshutdown.