Hawai‘i Visitor Numbers Down 77% in November

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Tourism totals in Hawai‘i remain bleak, even as several mainland and international flight routes to island airports have reopened.

In November 2020, visitor arrivals decreased 77.3% compared to a year ago, according to preliminary statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s (HTA) Tourism Research Division. A total of 183,779 visitors traveled to Hawai‘i by air service, compared to 809,076 visitors who came by air service and cruise ships in November 2019.

Most of the visitors were from the US West (137,452, -63.4%) and US East (40,205, -73.3%). In addition, 524 visitors came from Japan (-99.6%) and 802 came from Canada (-98.4%). There were 4,795 visitors from All Other International Markets (-94.3%). Many of these visitors were from Guam, and a small number of visitors were from the Philippines, Other Asia, Europe, Latin America, Oceania, and the Pacific Islands. Total visitor days declined 65.9% compared to November of last year.

Beginning Oct. 15, passengers arriving from out-of-state and traveling inter-county could bypass the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine with a valid negative COVID-19 NAAT test result from a trusted testing and travel partner. Starting Nov. 6, travelers from Japan could also bypass the mandatory quarantine in Hawai‘i with a negative test result from a trusted testing partner in Japan. However, upon returning to Japan, the travelers remain subject to a 14-day quarantine.


A new state policy went into effect on Nov. 24 requiring all trans-Pacific travelers participating in the pre-travel testing program to produce a negative test result before their departure to Hawai‘i, and test results would no longer be accepted once a traveler arrives in the state. In addition, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continued to enforce the “No Sail Order” on all cruise ships.

Spending statistics for November 2020 were all from US visitors. Data by visitors from other markets was not available. US West visitors spent $251.9 million (-55.3%) in November 2020, and their average daily spending was $156 per person (-12.8%). US East visitors spent $86.5 million (-71.8%) and $160 per person on an average daily basis.

A total of 440,846 trans-Pacific air seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands in November, down 58.9% from a year ago. There were no scheduled seats from Canada and Oceania, and considerably fewer scheduled seats from Other Asia (-99.2%), Japan (-98.4%), US East (-56.5%), US West (-43.5%), and Other countries (-50.5%) compared to a year ago.


Year-to-Date 2020

In the first 11 months of 2020, total visitor arrivals dropped 73.7% to 2,480,401 visitors, with considerably fewer arrivals by air service (-73.7% to 2,450,610) and by cruise ships (-77.5% to 29,792) compared to the same period a year ago. Total visitor days fell 68.4%.

Year-to-date, visitor arrivals by air service decreased from U.S West (-72.4% to 1,154,401), US East (-70.7% to 604,524), Japan (-79.5% to 295,354), Canada (-66.9% to 157,367) and All Other International Markets (-79.2% to 238,963).


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