The world is beginning to recognize what lovers of Kaua‘i have long known – the Garden Island is incredible. The proof? While visits to the state of Hawai‘i rose 3.8% to 7.28 million in 2011 – the highest level since 2007 – visits to the island of Kaua‘i surged 6.3% with more than 1 million visitors coming to the island last year.
Kaua‘i was, in fact, the only island with positive growth in visitor arrivals for every month of 2011 and has led Hawai‘i’s four major islands in visitor growth for 13 consecutive months, rising 10% again in January 2012.
“The production of four movies also helped Kaua’i’s economy while they were filmed here – Soul Surfer, Just Go With It, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Descendents,” said George Costa, director of the Office of Economic Development in an interview with KHON2. “And as these films continue to get recognition, I think we’ll reap the benefits in the years to come.”
The growing popularity of Kaua‘i has also been facilitated by the addition of several new direct flights introduced last year from Vancouver, Oakland, and San Jose. Total air seats to Kaua‘i’s Lihu‘e Airport rose 14.8% in 2011 to 519,164, breaking the previous record high capacity of 435,818 in 2006.
“The Garden Isle steals people away from the other Hawaiian islands,” says Melanie Haiken in a recent Forbes article. “Once people visit Kaua‘i, they keep going back. And if they’d previously been loyal to another island, suddenly they never mention it again.” According to Haiken, there are seven reasons why Kaua‘i is the best island in Hawai‘i:
1. Kaua‘i has the most spectacular sunsets.
2. The watersports are second to none.
3. The food is delectable.
4. The wildlife is exactly that – wild
5. The hiking is super spectacular.
6. The gardens of the Garden Isle are a botanist’s dream.
7. More movies are filmed on Kaua‘i – and you can still visit the shooting locations.
To read the full Forbes story, visit:
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