Hawai´i Visitor Tallies Continue to Climb Toward Pre-Pandemic Norm
Visitor arrivals to Hawai´i, and monetary spend within the state, continue to creep closer to pre-pandemic levels.
According to preliminary visitor statistics jointly released by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) and Hawai´i Tourism Authority, total spending for visitors arriving in June 2021 was $1.44 billion. There is no comparative visitor spending data available for the month of June 2020. Compared to June 2019, however, visitor spending decreased only 11.9 percent from $1.63 billion.
Through the first six months of 2021, total visitor spending was $4.86 billion. By comparison, this represented a 45.1 percent decline from the $8.86 billion spent through the first half of 2019.
A total of 791,053 visitors arrived by air service to the Hawaiian Islands in June 2021, mainly from the U.S. West and U.S. East. Prior to the global COVID-19 pandemic and Hawai´i’s quarantine requirement for travelers, the Hawaiian Islands experienced record-level visitor expenditures and arrivals in 2019 and in the first two months of 2020. When compared to 2019, visitor arrivals in June 2021 were down 16.5 percent from the June 2019 count of 947,112 visitors (air and cruise). In comparison, only 17,068 visitors arrived by air in June 2020.
A total of 2,751,849 visitors arrived in the first half of 2021, up 27.6 percent compared to the first half of 2020. Total arrivals were 46.8 percent lower than the 5,171,182 visitors in the first half of 2019.
During June 2021, most passengers arriving from out-of-state and traveling inter-county could bypass the state’s mandatory 10-day self-quarantine with a valid negative COVID-19 NAAT test result from a Trusted Testing Partner prior to their departure to Hawai´i through the Safe Travels program. In addition, individuals who were fully vaccinated in Hawai´i could bypass the quarantine order beginning June 15, 2021. Inter-county travel restrictions were lifted also as of June 15, 2021. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) enforced restrictions on cruise ships through a “Conditional Sail Order.”
The average daily census showed that there were 255,936 visitors in Hawai´i on any given day in June 2021, compared to 15,223 visitors per day in June 2020, versus 277,930 visitors per day in June 2019.