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Report Shows Visitor Industry Continues to Climb

April 28, 2022, 10:21 AM HST
* Updated April 28, 10:43 AM
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Spending in March by travelers this year outpaced the pre-COVID amounts spent in March of 2019.

According to preliminary visitor statistics released by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, total spending by visitors who came to the islands in March 2022 was $1.53 billion, which was higher compared to the $1.49 billion reported for March 2019.

That’s good for a 2.5% bump.

“The demand for quality lodging, food and beverage, activities, retail, and services will provide the momentum necessary for the state’s economic recovery to happen quicker than predicted, DBEDT Director Mike McCartney said in a press release April 28 about the data.

Increased international travel is a big reason for the boost. During the pandemic, restrictions made traveling to the Aloha State more burdensome than normal, and at time out right impossible. Travel restrictions, including the state’s Safe Travels Program, were removed in March.

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The figures show that international travel is nearing 2019 figures, even though the last of the travel restrictions were lifted March 26, at the end of the month. The reopening of international travel is one reason experts expect Hawai‘i’s economy to grow in 2022.

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“International travelers in March 2022 contributed to the increase in visitor arrivals, with Canadian visitors at the highest arrival levels since March 2020,” McCartney said. “Slight percentage increase of Japanese visitors continues to build with the resumption of Japan tour packages to our state.”

The full tables and news release can be viewed here.

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A total of 788,931 visitors came to the Hawaiian Islands in March 2022, with 785,715 visitors arriving by air service, mainly from the U.S. West and U.S. East. In comparison, 928,849 visitors (-15.1%) arrived by air and by cruise ships in March 2019.

The average daily census was 226,857 visitors in March 2022 compared to 250,528 visitors (-9.4%) in March 2019.

There were 4,038 visitors from Japan in March 2022 compared to 133,858 visitors (-97%) in March 2019. Visitors from Japan spent $11.8 million in March 2022 compared to $185.2 million (-93.6%) in March 2019. Daily spending by Japanese visitors in March 2022 ($224 per person) decreased compared to March 2019 ($238 per person, -5.6%).

In March 2022, 54,475 visitors arrived from Canada compared to 76,913 visitors (-29.2%) in March 2019. Visitors from Canada spent $116.1 million in March 2022, compared to $139.8 million (-16.9%) in March 2019. Daily spending by Canadian visitors in March 2022 ($173 per person) increased compared to March 2019 ($158 per person, +9.7%).

There were 141,854 visitors to Hawai‘i Island in March 2022 compared to 161,087 visitors (-11.9%) in March 2019. Visitor spending was $217.3 million compared to $200.7 million (+8.2%) in March 2019. The average daily census on Hawai‘i Island was 37,725 visitors in March 2022, which was very similar to the 37,520 visitors (+0.5%) in March 2019.

 

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