Despite challenges for some in the pre-testing process, the vast majority of visitors (85%) rated their trip “Excellent.” Ninety-four percent said their trip either exceeded or met their expectations. These are the results made available by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) which released the results of a special study. This study surveyed visitors from the US mainland who visited Hawaii in the first two weeks of December 2020, to gauge their experience with Hawaii’s Safe Travels program and overall trip satisfaction.
Hawaii’s Safe Travels program allows most passengers arriving from out-of-state and traveling inter-county to bypass the mandatory 10-day self-quarantine with a valid negative COVID-19 NAAT test result from a Trusted Testing Partner. The test has to be taken no earlier than 72 hours from the final leg of departure and the negative result must be received before departure to Hawaii.
Nearly every visitor surveyed was aware of the state’s pre-travel testing protocols prior to arrival, and 79 percent of them said the pre-travel testing went smoothly. Among those who indicated they experienced issues with the pre-testing process, almost half (46%) said they felt the 72-hour window for testing was unreasonable, 37 percent encountered difficulty finding a Trusted Testing Partner and 15 percent said their test results did not arrive in time.
Nearly all of the respondents were aware prior to arriving in the islands of the local government mandates in place to prevent the spread of the virus and limited availability or capacity of visitor amenities.
The survey also asked questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, Hawaii’s rate of COVID-19 infections as a factor in selecting the destination as a place to visit, and likelihood to return to the islands.
HTA’s Tourism Research Division partnered with Anthology Research to conduct the survey, as part of the contract for the Visitor Satisfaction and Activity Study. The online survey was conducted between December 21, 2020 and January 4, 2021. The findings were presented during HTA’s Board of Directors meeting on January 28.
The complete Visitor COVID-19 Study is available on HTA’s website.