HTA News Release: Hawaii Visitor Statistics Released for May 2020

Posted on Jun 29, 2020 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – In May 2020, visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands decreased 98.9 percent compared to a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s (HTA) Tourism Research Division.

All passengers arriving from out-of-state and traveling interisland during May were required to abide by a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. Exemptions include travel for essential reasons like work or healthcare. In May, Governor David Ige’s “Stay-at-Home” order transitioned to the “Safer-at-Home” order, then eventually the state entered the “Act with Care” phase. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also continued to enforce its “No Sail Order” on all cruise ships.

In May, a total of 9,116 visitors traveled to Hawaii by air service compared to 841,376 total visitors (by air and cruise ships) during the same period a year ago. Most of the visitors were from U.S. West (5,842, -98.5%) and U.S. East (2,647, -98.7%). A few visitors came from Japan (14, -100.0%) and Canada (20, -99.9%). There were 593 visitors from All Other International Markets (-99.4%), most of whom were visiting from Guam. Total visitor days1 dropped 96.3 percent year-over-year.

A total of 97,753 trans-Pacific air seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands in May, down 91.3 percent from a year ago. There were no direct flights or scheduled seats from U.S. East, Japan, Canada, Oceania, and Other Asia, and very few scheduled seats from U.S. West (-88.3%) and Other countries (-58.1%).

Year-to-Date 2020

In the first five months of 2020, total visitor arrivals dropped 49.5 percent to 2,139,166 visitors, with significantly fewer arrivals by air service (-49.3% to 2,109,375) and by cruise ships (-60.7% to 29,792) compared to the same period a year ago. Total visitor days fell 46.3 percent.

Year-to-date, visitor arrivals by air service decreased from U.S. West (-49.3% to 917,741), U.S. East (-44.5% to 518,185), Japan (-51.6% to 294,255), Canada (-46.5% to 155,764) and All Other International Markets (-57.4% to 223,430).

Other Highlights:

U.S. West: In May, 4,357 visitors arrived from the Pacific region compared to 292,106 visitors a year ago, and 1,443 visitors came from the Mountain region compared to 88,487 a year ago. Through the first five months of 2020, visitor arrivals declined substantially from both the Pacific (-50.5% to 693,435) and Mountain (-45.3% to 204,167) regions compared to the same period a year ago.

U.S. East: Through the first five months of 2020, visitor arrivals dropped considerably from all regions. The three largest regions, East North Central (-43.7% to 109,887), South Atlantic (-50.6% to 94,545) and West North Central (-32.8% to 94,095) saw considerable decreases compared to the first five months of 2019.

Japan: In May, 14 visitors arrived from Japan compared to 113,218 visitors a year ago. Year-to-date, arrivals declined 51.6 percent to 294,255 visitors.

Canada: In May, 20 visitors arrived from Canada compared to 25,794 visitors a year ago. Year-to-date, arrivals dropped to 155,764 visitors (-46.5%).


[1] Aggregate number of days stayed by all visitors.

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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.

For more information about HTA, please visit Follow updates about HTA on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (@HawaiiHTA) and its YouTube Channel.

For more information, contact:

Marisa Yamane
Director of Communications & PR
Hawaii Tourism Authority
[email protected]

Jennifer Chun
Director of Tourism Research
Hawaii Tourism Authority
[email protected]