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Visitors to Hawaii top 400 for 10th straight day

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                People cross Kalakaua Avenue on May 16 in Waikiki.

    JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    People cross Kalakaua Avenue on May 16 in Waikiki.

Some 411 visitors arrived in Hawaii on Wednesday — the 10th day in a row that daily visitor arrivals have soared above 400.

Hawaii Tourism Authority reported today that 18 flights arrived in Hawaii on Wednesday carrying 1,484 passengers. The flights also carried 420 residents and 71 intended residents. There were 193 airline crew members and 87 transit passengers who did not plan to leave the airport. Some 228 military members came to Hawaii. As many as 74 of the passengers were exempt from a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine that has been in place for out-of-state passengers since March 26 and was extended to interisland passengers on April 1.

The interisland quarantine will end June 16 by order of Gov. David Ige, who on Wednesday extended the trans-Pacific quarantine to July 31. Ige has said he expects some form of screening, testing and contract tracing will need to be in place before Hawaii lifts the trans-Pacific quarantine.

In the meantime, Hawaii’s visitor industry continues to endure significant downturns related to the drop off in travel demand from COVID-19 fears and tourism lockdowns. Last June when tourism was robust, the state averaged 35,000 passengers a day, said state Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Sakahara. From June 1-10, there have been 4,901 visitors.

The industry is not expected to begin what is anticipated to be a six-year economic recovery until the quarantine for out-of-state passengers is lifted. While the state hasn’t banned visitors from coming to Hawaii, relatively few law-abiding visitors would want to vacation in Hawaii under such stringent emergency orders.

On Wednesday, most of the arriving visitors, some 347, went to Oahu, another 33 went to Maui, 24 to Lihue and seven to Kona.

As many as 339 of the 347 arriving Oahu visitors provided some insight on why they are coming when they answered a question on a state travel declaration form about the purpose of their trip.

Most of the Oahu visitor respondents, some 78%, indicated that they were coming to see family and friends. Another 12% of arriving Oahu visitors said they were coming for business, 6% said they were relocating, and another 9% indicated they were coming for vacation.

The percentages don’t add up to 100% because not all Oahu visitors answered the question and those that did were allowed to make more than one choice.

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