Hawaii visitor numbers nearly reached pre-Covid levels in March

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Hawaii's tourism numbers only dropped 3% in March 2020 compared to March 2019.

Hawaii visitor numbers nearly reached pre-Covid levels in March

Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism released data on Thursday that showed the number of visitors in Hawaii last month was almost the same as the pre-pandemic March 2019 figures.

The monthly report shows that a total 900,800 tourists visited Hawaii in March 2019. This is a 3% decrease compared to 928,849 tourists who visited Hawaii in March 2019.

Comparing March 2022 to the 788,931 visitors arriving in that month, this represents a 14% rise.

The strong demand for travel from the domestic market has dominated the recent rebound. This trend continued in March with 709,800 Americans arriving, an 14% increase compared to last year. In terms of domestic visitors, the U.S. West accounted for 464,300, up 16%, and the U.S. East accounted for 245,500, an increase of 9%.

The results of the international market were mixed last month. The number of arrivals from Japan was down 70% compared to the 133.900 in March 2019. This totaled only about 40,000. Canada and other international markets were closer to the pre-pandemic level, with a decline of 16%, to 64,400, and a decrease of 4%, to 78,100.

The visitor spending in March 2019 was $1.5 billion. This is up by 23%. The total spending was up by 20% compared to last March when visitors spent $1.53 billion.

Oahu, with 487.400 visitors, had the most number of visitors among the four main islands. This was also the biggest drop in arrivals compared to 2019. Kauai Island and Hawaii Island visitors numbers were mostly unchanged at 122.600 and 161,200 respectively, while Maui recorded a 2% rise in arrivals, to 276,500.

Molokai & Lanai both experienced a drop in 2019 - down by 11% & 28% respectively.

All islands saw increases in monthly spending when compared to the levels of 2019. Molokai, despite a decrease in visitors, saw the biggest jump in visitor expenditures, which increased 56% from $3.7 Million in 2019 to $5.8 Million last month. Kauai's spending grew by 46%, to $222.5 millions. Maui's spending grew by 40%, to $620 million. Hawaii Island and Oahu saw modest increases, with Hawaii Island expenditures increasing 18% to $237.4 million and Oahu spending rising 9% to $731.4million.

The number of visitors in the first quarter of 2023 was about 2,45 million, a decrease of 3% from the same period of 2019. The total expenditures for the year to date have increased by 19.5%, reaching $5.37 billion.