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Hawaii tourism still severely impaired by global COVID-19 pandemic

Total Hawaii visitor spending in February 2021 was $385.3 million – down 73.6%

  • There were 90,776 visitors in Hawaii on any given day in February 2021
  • There were 250,052 visitors in Hawaii per day in February 2020
  • In February, most passengers arriving from out-of-state and traveling inter-county could bypass the State’s mandatory 10-day self-quarantine

Hawaii’s visitor industry continues to be impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. According to preliminary statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the average daily census showed that there were 90,776 visitors in Hawaii on any given day in February 2021, compared to 250,052 visitors per day in February 2020.

During February, 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 through the state’s Safe Travels program. All trans-Pacific travelers participating in the pre-travel testing program were required to have a negative test result before their departure to Hawaii. Kauai County continued to temporarily suspend its participation in the Safe Travels program for trans-Pacific travelers, but inter-island travelers who had been in Hawaii for more than three days could bypass the quarantine with a valid test result. Trans-Pacific travelers to Kauai were given the option of participating in a pre- and post-travel testing program at a “resort bubble” property as a way to shorten their time in quarantine. The counties of Hawaii and Maui also had a partial quarantine in place in February. In addition, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continued to enforce the “Conditional Sailing Order” on all cruise ships.

A total of 235,283 visitors traveled to Hawaii by air service in February 2021, compared to 828,056 visitors who came by air and cruise ships a year ago. Most of the visitors were from the U.S. West (164,861, -53.6%) and U.S. East (63,899, -67.1%). Also, 695 visitors came from Japan (-99.4%) and 493 visitors came from Canada (-99.2%). There were 5,336 visitors from All Other International Markets (-93.2%). Many of these visitors were from Guam, and a small number of visitors were from Other Asia, Europe, Latin America, Oceania, Philippines and Pacific Islands.

In terms of average daily census, there were 60,249 visitors present in Hawaii on any given day during February from U.S. West (-42.7%), 26,996 visitors from U.S. East (-59.0%), 430 visitors from Japan (-98.2%), 488 visitors from Canada (-98.2%), and 2,613 visitors from All Other International Markets (-89.9%), down considerably compared to February 2020.

Total visitor spending in February 2021 was $385.3 million (-73.6%). This represented an average of $13.8 million per day, compared to $50.3 million per day in February 2020. U.S. West visitors spent $9.4 million per day (-52.2%). U.S. East visitors spent $4.1 million per day (-71.3%). Visitors from Japan spent $86.1 thousand per day (-98.5%). Visitors from Canada spent $80.6 thousand per day (-98.4%). Spending data for visitors from other markets were not available.

There were 2,556 trans-Pacific flights and 532,220 air seats that serviced the Hawaiian Islands in February 2021. This averaged out to 91 flights and 19,008 air seats per day, which is far less than the 172 flights and 38,186 seats per day in February 2020. There were no scheduled seats from Oceania, and considerably fewer scheduled seats from Other Asia, Japan, Canada, U.S. East, U.S. West, and Other countries compared to a year ago.