Mass tourism is good, say 69% of business leaders and 73% of Oahu residents

The BOSS study generated two indices. The performance index measures changes over the past year in employment, gross revenue and pre-tax profit among the companies surveyed. Have these measures increased, decreased, or remained stable?

The Optimism Index reveals the outlook of the business community for the economic future of the islands in the coming year.

BOSS Performance Index

The last three BOSS studies have shown similar results on the three main measures of business performance. Here are the results of the latest survey.

  • Employment: 65% of companies surveyed have kept the same level of staff over the past year, 19% have increased staff and 16% have cut staff.
  • Gross income: 43% of companies surveyed had higher revenue in the past year, 28% were flat, and 27% had less revenue.
  • Profit before tax: 34% achieved higher pre-tax profits in the past year, 30% remained stable and 33% experienced lower pre-tax profits.
BOSS Optimism Index

11 23 Web 1800x1200 Boss 10Of the business leaders surveyed, 26% said they believe the economy will improve next year – more jobs, business growth, revenue growth. Meanwhile, 35% say it will stay the same and 38% fear it will get worse – fewer jobs, more bankruptcies, lost revenue. Of Maui businesses, 72 percent said things will get worse.

Again, both the 808 survey and the 808 survey were done in the weeks soon after the Lahaina fire.

How many tourists?

Each study participant was presented with this statement: The number of visitors arriving in Hawaii this year is about 94% of the peak tourist year of 2019, when more than 10 million visitors came.

They were then asked which of these statements best reflected their personal views.11 23 Web 1800x1200 Boss 11

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Will your company thrive or fall on hard times?

Business leaders were asked to characterize their companies’ prospects over the next two years using these options.

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“Unprecedented uncertainty for the second time in just a few years after the Maui fire is difficult for all stakeholders.”

– Respondent in the boss survey

Methodology for BOSS Survey and 808 Poll

BOSS – The Business Outlook and Sentiment Survey – is a nationwide survey of business owners, senior executives and other company representatives. The 808 Survey is a survey of the general public in Hawaii. Both are conducted twice a year for Hawaii Business Magazine by the research team at Anthology Marketing, now part of global agency Finn Partners.

For BOSS, a total of 404 random interviews were conducted on the four most populous Hawaiian Islands from August 15 to September 13, 2023, following the tragic Lahaina fire. A sample of this size has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.88 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.

A survey as part of the main BOSS study included interviews with business leaders who described their companies as generating significant revenue from the tourism industry. A total of 111 leaders were surveyed in this segment; their responses were also included in the main survey results.

In the 808 Poll, 463 members of the general public aged 18 and over were surveyed from August 15 to 28, 2023. The margin of error for a sample of this size is plus or minus 4.55 percentage points with a 95% confidence level.

Thirty-five of the BOSS respondents live on Maui; 26 of them help leading companies in the tourism industry. Fifty-five of the 808 respondents live in Maui County. These are small sample sizes, but we felt that their collective responses were worth separating out for certain survey questions when they differed significantly from the overall responses.

What are your company’s plans for 2024?

Participants in the BOSS survey of business owners, managers and representatives received the following: Recession fears have eased in recent months among some economists and business leaders; others still fear a recession in 2024.

They were then asked which of the following options best reflected their company’s plans for the near future.

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Participants in both the BOSS survey of business leaders and the 808 survey of the general public were asked about their personal spending and budgeting plans in 2024.

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Among the general public, 28% of men have little or no fear of spending in 2024, compared to 14% of women; 17% of women expect significant spending cuts compared to just 5% of men. Not surprisingly, among the general public, the largest share of people with limited-spending plans come from the lowest-income earners—those with household incomes under $50,000 a year.

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