DBEDT News Release: VISITOR INDUSTRY CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT IN FEBRUARY

Posted on Mar 31, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – According to preliminary visitor statistics released by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), total spending by visitors who came to the islands in February 2022 was $1.31 billion, compared to $397.1 million (+229.9%) spent in February 2021.

Prior to the global COVID-19 pandemic and Hawai‘i’s quarantine requirements for travelers, the State of Hawai‘i achieved record-level visitor expenditures and arrivals in 2019 through February 2020. February 2022 visitor spending was lower than the $1.46 billion (-10.4%) spent in February 2020 and $1.39 billion (-5.6%) reported for February 2019.

A total of 630,647 visitors came in February 2022, with 623,691 visitors arriving by air service, mainly from the U.S. West and U.S. East. Additionally, 6,956 visitors arrived by cruise ships. In February 2021, 235,283 visitors (+168.0%) arrived by air only and there were no cruise ship activities. In comparison, 823,910 visitors (-23.5%) came by air and by cruise ships in February 2020, and 780,827 visitors (-19.2%) arrived by air and by cruise ships in February 2019.

In February 2022, domestic passengers who arrived in Hawai‘i by air could bypass the State’s mandatory five-day self-quarantine if they were fully vaccinated in the United States or with a valid negative COVID-19 NAAT test result from a Trusted Testing Partner prior to their departure through the Safe Travels program. Passengers arriving on direct international flights were subject to federal U.S. entry requirements which included proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 24 hours of travel or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days, prior to their flight. Cruise ships that came to Hawaiʻi in February 2022 were required to follow strict health and safety protocols under the Hawai‘i’s Safe Travels program including vaccination, COVID-19 testing, and have dedicated medical staff on board, cabins for isolation, and a contingency plan with local hospitals to handle any COVID issues.

The average daily census[1] was 211,147 visitors in February 2022, compared to 90,776 visitors (+132.6%) in February 2021, 248,097 visitors (-14.9%) in February 2020, and 246,741 visitors (-14.4%) in February 2019.

In February 2022, 376,761 visitors arrived by air from the U.S. West, compared to 164,861 visitors (+128.5%) in February 2021, 352,707 visitors (+6.8%) in February 2020, and 312,235 visitors (+20.7%) in February 2019. U.S. West visitors spent $728.3 million in February 2022, compared to $264.6 million (+175.3%) in February 2021, $573.1 million (+27.1%) in February 2020, and $499.7 million (+45.7%) in February 2019. Daily spending by U.S. West visitors in February 2022 ($227 per person) was much higher compared to February 2021 ($157 per person, +44.7%), February 2020 ($189 per person, +19.9%), and February 2019 ($184 per person, +23.2%).

There were 186,758 visitors from the U.S. East in February 2022, compared to 63,899 visitors (+192.3%) in February 2021, 194,113 visitors (-3.8%) in February 2020, and 176,777 visitors (+5.6%) in February 2019. U.S. East visitors spent $437.1 million in February 2022, compared to $116.1 million (+276.6%) in February 2021, $419.5 million (+4.2%) in February 2020, and $371.6 million (+17.6%) in February 2019. Daily spending by U.S. East visitors in February 2022 ($234 per person) increased compared to February 2021

($154 per person, +52.3%), February 2020 ($220 per person, +6.3%), and February 2019 ($209 per person, +11.8%).

There were 2,181 visitors from Japan in February 2022, compared to 695 visitors (+214.0%) in February 2021, 124,122 visitors (-98.2%) in February 2020, and 120,653 visitors

(-98.2%) in February 2019. Visitors from Japan spent $8.1 million in February 2022, compared to $2.4 million (+234.8%) in February 2021, $168.5 million (-95.2%) in February 2020, and $165.5 million (-95.1%) in February 2019. Daily spending by Japanese visitors in February 2022 ($202 per person) was slightly higher compared to February 2021 ($200 per person, +0.7%), but decreased compared to February 2020 ($243 per person, -16.9%), and February 2019 ($242 per person, -16.8%).

In February 2022, 29,046 visitors arrived from Canada, compared to 493 visitors (+5,796.1%) in February 2021, 65,352 visitors (-55.6%) in February 2020, and 66,590 visitors (-56.4%) in February 2019. Visitors from Canada spent $78.7 million in February 2022, compared to $2.3 million (+3,386.8%) in February 2021, $148.2 million (-46.9%) in February 2020, and $153.0 million (-48.6%) in February 2019. Daily spending by Canadian visitors in February 2022 ($178 per person) increased compared to February 2021 ($165 per person, +7.9%), but declined compared to February 2020 ($184 per person, -3.4%), and February 2019 ($184 per person, -3.0%).

There were 28,945 visitors from All Other International Markets in February 2022. These visitors were from Europe, Oceania, Other Asia, Latin America, Guam, Philippines, and the Pacific Islands. In comparison, there were 5,336 visitors (+442.5%) from All Other International Markets in February 2021, 72,530 visitors (-60.1%) in February 2020, and 88,258 visitors (-67.2%) in February 2019.

In February 2022, a total of 4,484 trans-Pacific flights with 938,360 seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands, compared to 2,556 flights with 532,220 seats in February 2021, 4,989 flights with 1,107,405 seats in February 2020, and 4,611 flights with 1,010,961 seats in February 2019.

Year-to-Date 2022

Through the first two months of 2022, total visitor spending was $2.71 billion, up significantly from $795.0 million (+240.6%) in the first two months of 2021. Total visitor spending decreased compared to $3.19 billion (-15.1%) in the first two months of 2020, and $3.01 billion (-9.9%) in the first two months of 2019.

A total of 1,204,830 visitors (+195.8%) arrived in the first two months of 2022, nearly triple the number of visitors from the same period last year (407,259). Total arrivals were down compared to 1,680,976 visitors (-28.3%) in the first two months of 2020, and 1,598,428 visitors (-24.6%) in the first two months of 2019.

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Statement by DBEDT Director Mike McCartney:

Visitors spent $1.3 billion in February which was 10% more per person, per day than in 2019, even though statewide we saw less visitor arrivals. We expect Hawai‘i to continue with this forward momentum, especially into Spring then into Summer, because of the arrival of  Japanese visitors and other international markets.

With the lifting of the Safe Travels program, Hawai‘i will need to prepare for hosting a different mix of visitors. There will be demand by local businesses; from restaurants, transportation, retail, activities and lodging, to attract and retain a quality workforce for Hawai‘i which will bring more certainty to the economy. There is now an opportunity for Hawai‘i’s small businesses to attract and retain quality workers and employees.

As HTA refines and implements their Destination Management Plans, it will take a collaboration with the counties to find the balance and ensure that the community is an integral part of the process as we all move towards a regenerative visitor industry.

There is still a need to continue to be vigilant and remember that public health is the key for a healthy economy. Even though the formal Safe Travels program has ended we hope that everyone takes responsibility to keep Hawai‘i safe.

We learned how to live with the virus and need to remember that it is not yet over.

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Media Contacts:

Jennifer Chun

Director of Tourism Research

Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism

(808) 973-9446

[email protected]hawaii.gov

Charlene Chan

Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism

(808) 824-0134

[email protected]

http://dbedt.hawaii.gov

[1] Average daily census measures the number of visitors present on any given day.