HONOLULU – The COVID-19 pandemic considerably impacted visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands in August 2020. Visitor arrivals dropped 97.6 percent compared to a year ago, according to preliminary statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s (HTA) Tourism Research Division.
All passengers arriving from out-of-state during August were required to abide by a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. Exemptions include travel for essential reasons like work or healthcare. On August 11, a partial interisland quarantine was reinstated for anyone traveling to the counties of Kauai, Hawaii, Maui, and Kalawao (Molokai). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continued to impose the “No Sail Order” on all cruise ships.
In August 2020, a total of 22,344 visitors traveled to Hawaii by air service compared to 926,417 visitors during the same month a year ago. Most of the visitors were from U.S. West (12,778, -97.0%) and U.S. East (7,407, -96.3%). Only 220 visitors came from Japan (-99.9%) and 100 came from Canada (-99.7%). There were 1,839 visitors from All Other International Markets (-98.4%). Many of these visitors were from Guam, and a small number of visitors were from the Philippines, Other Asia, Europe, Latin America, Oceania, Puerto Rico and the Pacific Islands. Total visitor days1 decreased 91.3 percent year-over-year.
A total of 179,570 trans-Pacific air seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands in August, down 85.2 percent from a year ago. There were no direct flights or scheduled seats from Canada, Oceania, and Other Asia, and very few scheduled seats from Japan (-99.7%), U.S. East (-89.6%), U.S. West (-80.3%), and Other countries (-56.5%).
In the first eight months of 2020, total visitor arrivals decreased 69.0 percent to 2,201,141 visitors, with significantly fewer arrivals by air service (-69.1% to 2,171,349) and by cruise ships (-61.3% to 29,792) compared to the same period a year ago. Total visitor days fell 65.1 percent.
Year-to-date, visitor arrivals by air service declined from U.S. West (-69.6% to 953,559), U.S. East (-66.9% to 538,703), Japan (-71.4% to 294,568), Canada (-58.0% to 156,015) and All Other International Markets (-72.9% to 228,504).
U.S. West: In August, 9,927 visitors arrived from the Pacific region compared to 355,076 visitors a year ago, and 2,806 visitors came from the Mountain region compared to 59,169 a year ago. Through the first eight months of 2020, visitor arrivals decreased sharply from both the Pacific (-71.0% to 720,221) and Mountain (-64.3% to 212,851) regions compared to the same period year-over-year.
U.S. East: Through the first eight months of 2020, visitor arrivals dropped substantially from all regions. The three largest regions, East North Central (-62.9% to 112,605), South Atlantic (-71.2% to 100,698) and West North Central (-51.2% to 95,556) saw dramatic decreases compared to the first eight months of 2019.
Japan: In August, 220 visitors arrived from Japan compared to 160,728 visitors a year ago. Year-to-date through August, arrivals declined 71.4 percent to 294,568 visitors. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, quarantine measures are in place for all Japanese nationals arriving in Japan from the U.S.
Canada: In August, 100 visitors arrived from Canada compared to 28,672 visitors a year ago. All 100 visitors came to Hawaii on domestic flights. U.S. borders with Canada have remained closed since March 2020. Border crossings have been largely restricted to trade goods, essential workers and citizens returning home. Year-to-date through August, arrivals dropped 58.0 percent to 156,015 visitors.
___________ Aggregate number of days stayed by all visitors.
About the Hawaii Tourism Authority
The Hawaii Tourism Authority is the State of Hawaii agency responsible for strategically managing its support of the tourism industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawaii’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure tourism’s sustainability and the benefits it brings to residents and communities statewide.
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Hawaii Tourism Authority
Director of Tourism Research
Hawaii Tourism Authority