Hawai´i’s Tourism Industry Rebounding Faster Than Expected
* Updated May 26, 10:18 PM
The tourism bounce back in Hawai´i is outpacing what industry professionals expected.
According to the report from Hawai´i News Now (HNN) on Wednesday, May 26, the state expects it will register 6.6 million visitor arrivals this year, which would be 64% of 2019 pre-pandemic totals.
The State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) expects domestic arrivals to recover entirely by the end of 2021.
Hawai´i Tourism Authority President and CEO John De Fries said he believes the domestic tourism surge can be attributed to a weakening COVID-19 pandemic, which has been mitigated by nationwide vaccination efforts, as well as to new routes from major airlines and widespread travel demand following more than a year of broad restrictions.
International tourism has seen just a 5% rebound to this point, DBEDT indicated, which is partially due to travel policies that do not yet allow both quarantine and testing exemptions for vaccinated travelers from outside the country.
De Fries told HNN that Hawai´i’s quarantine policy will likely keep tourism from Japan low until the end of the year. Japan represents the state’s top international tourism market.