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Volcanoes National Park Saw Huge Decline in Visitors in 2020

March 4, 2021, 1:46 PM HST
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Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park lost a significant number of visitors last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The park welcomed 589,775 visitors to Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, a 57% decrease from 2019 when the park welcomed 1,368,376 visitors.  

Park staff were ready for visitation to rise in 2020, following the annual spike in visitation during the holidays. They had already seen a slight uptick in January and February 2020 from 2019 (2%), before the pandemic struck, according to a HVNP press release.

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted nearly every National Park Service operation, and parks continue to work with public health officials to navigate changing conditions. A total of 66 national parks were fully closed for two months or more, including Hawaiʻi Volcanoes during the governor’s stay-at-home order.  

“Park staff continue to work hard to keep Hawaiʻi Volcanoes a safe place for our community and visitors to recreate outdoors, and a safe place to work, by implementing and following federal and local public health guidelines during this pandemic,” said Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Rhonda Loh. “Currently, almost all trails and backcountry areas that were open before the pandemic are open again. We continue to urge everyone to recreate responsibly and maintain physical distance and small group size, wear masks, and frequently sanitize hands.”  

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To protect the health of those who live, work and visit America’s national parks, face masks are required in all NPS buildings and facilities. Masks are also required on federally managed lands when physical distancing cannot be maintained, including narrow or busy trails, overlooks, and parking lots.  

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Learn more about National Park Service visitation for all park units on the NPS visitor use statistics website. Plan your visit and find out what’s going on with the volcanoes on the park at www.nps.gov/hawaiivolcanoes.  

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