Cover of Waikiki Economic Impact Study

Economic Impact Analysis of the Potential Erosion of Waikīkī Beach
A 2016 Update

This report provides an update to a 2008 report on the value of Waikīkī Beach using 2016 economic and visitor arrival data. Hospitality Advisor’s 2008 report concludes that just under $2 billion (2007 U.S. dollars) in overall visitor expenditures could be lost annually due to a complete erosion of Waikīkī Beach. The 2008 report investigated the economic impact of the erosion of Waikīkī Beach through visitor surveys and analysis of data provided by the Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, and Smith Travel Research. This report updates the economic impact estimates with the most recent set of complete tourism data available for 2016. The estimated potential loss in spending and revenue increased slightly to $2.22 billion in 2016 (about a 1.4% decrease from 2007 after adjustment for inflation). While the total number of O‘ahu visitors increased by 18.5% between 2007 and 2016, the rate of change differs among visitors from different parts of the world, whose spending patterns and likelihood to revisit Waikīkī after complete beach erosion varies. The average daily rate for hotel accommodation increased by 15.0%, but the average daily expenditure per visitor decreased by 6.2% between 2007 and 2016 (daily expenditures outside hotels decreased by more than 16%). O‘ahu, in particular, has many new visitors, but on average these visitors spend less than the visitors to the neighbor islands do. These factors together explain the 1.4% reduction in the estimated economic impact of the erosion of Waikīkī Beach between 2007 and 2016 when adjusted for inflation.