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Cover of Waikiki Economic Impact Study, features an aerial image of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head

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 20081 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.