DBEDT News Release: VISITOR SPENDING FOR NOVEMBER 2021 DECREASED 11.5 PERCENT FROM PRE-PANDEMIC NOVEMBER 2019Posted on Dec 29, 2021 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 November 2021 was $1.18 billion.
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 and in the first two months of 2020. November 2021 visitor spending was lower compared to the $1.34 billion (-11.5%) reported for November 2019. Comparative total spending statistics for November 2020 were not available as data were from U.S. West and U.S. East visitors only. November 2020 spending data by visitors from other markets were unavailable because of limited fielding due to COVID-19 restrictions.
A total of 613,391 visitors arrived by air service to the Hawaiian Islands in November 2021, mainly from the U.S. West and U.S. East. In comparison, 183,779 visitors (+233.8%) arrived by air in November 2020 and 809,076 visitors (-24.2%) arrived by air and by cruise ships in November 2019.
In November 2021, passengers arriving from out-of-state could bypass the State’s mandatory 10-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. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continued to enforce restrictions on cruise ships through a “Conditional Sail Order”, a phased approach for the resumption of passenger cruises to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 onboard.
The average daily census was 190,924 visitors in November 2021, compared to 76,203 in November 2020, versus 223,746 in November 2019.
In November 2021, 409,864 visitors arrived from the U.S. West, well above the 137,452 visitors (+198.2%) in November 2020 and exceeding the November 2019 count of 375,244 visitors (+9.2%). U.S. West visitors spent $755.8 million in November 2021, compared to only $252.6 million (+199.3%) in November 2020 and exceeding the $563.8 million (+34.1%) spent in November 2019. Higher average daily visitor spending ($209 per person, +16.9%) combined with a longer length of stay (8.83 days, +5.0%) also contributed to increased U.S. West visitor expenditures compared to November 2019.
There were 156,004 visitors from the U.S. East in November 2021, compared to 40,202 visitors (+288.1%) in November 2020, and 150,386 visitors (+3.7%) in November 2019. U.S. East visitors spent $324.3 million in November 2021 compared to only $86.2 million in November 2020, versus $306.8 million (+5.7%) in November 2019. A longer length of stay (9.73 days, +5.6%) contributed to the growth in U.S. East visitor expenditures compared to November 2019.
There were 2,589 visitors from Japan in November 2021, compared to 451 visitors (+474.3%) in November 2020, versus 131,536 visitors (-98.0%) in November 2019. Visitors from Japan spent $7.0 million in November 2021 compared to $189.4 million (-96.3%) in November 2019.
In November 2021, 22,045 visitors arrived from Canada, compared to 802 visitors (+2,647.9%) in November 2020, versus 50,598 visitors (-56.4%) in November 2019. Visitors from Canada spent $53.3 million in November 2021 compared to $98.3 million (-45.8%) in November 2019.
There were 22,889 visitors from All Other International Markets in November 2021. These visitors were from Other Asia, Europe, Latin America, Oceania, Guam, Philippines, and Pacific Islands. In comparison, there were 4,871 visitors (+369.9%) from All Other International Markets in November 2020, versus 84,783 visitors (-73.0%) in November 2019.
In November 2021, a total of 4,816 trans-Pacific flights and 1,003,431 seats served the Hawaiian Islands, compared to only 2,166 flights and 440,846 seats in November 2020, versus 4,883 flights and 1,072,805 seats in November 2019.
Through the first 11 months of 2021, total visitor spending was $11.34 billion. This was a 29.0 percent decline from the $15.96 billion spent through the first 11 months of 2019. Comparative year-to-date November 2020 visitor spending statistics were not available.
A total of 6,023,827 visitors (+143.7%) arrived in the first 11 months of 2021, more than double the arrival count of 2,471,683 visitors from the same period last year. Total visitor arrivals decreased 36.1 percent compared to the 9,434,232 visitors in the first 11 months of 2019.
Statement by DBEDT Director Mike McCartney:
We are pleased to see Hawai‘i’s tourism industry’s continued improvement in November. Visitors from the U.S. markets continued to surpass the 2019 levels with overall U.S. market recovery for the first 11 months at 92.8 percent for expenditures and 63.9 percent for arrivals.
International visitor recovery was at 7.6 percent during the first 11 months of 2021 with 234,389 international visitors versus 3,064,075 international visitors during the first 11 months of 2019.
Looking forward with cautious optimism, our tourism industry is linked to how Hawai‘i and the world responds to omicron. Public Health is still fundamental to an improved tourism economy. The more our visitors and residents have the booster vaccination, the better opportunity we will all have to achieve economic momentum and prosperity.
Our best chance for success is for everyone to get two vaccinations and the booster shot, continue to wear a mask and exercise personal responsibility to keep everyone safe.
Statement by HTA President and CEO John De Fries:
Demand for travel to the Hawaiian Islands remains strong, as evidenced by these November numbers. While the situation with COVID continues to evolve globally, as more people continue to get vaccinated and boosted, we look forward to welcoming back our international visitors in 2022. The stabilization of the visitor industry continues, and its recovery is an important part of Hawaiʻi’s economy that supports thousands of kamaʻāina families.
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Director of Tourism Research
Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism
Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism
 Average daily census measures the number of visitors present on any given day.
 Comparative year-to-date November 2020 visitor spending statistics were not available, as the Departure Survey could not be conducted between April through October 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.