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Wednesday marked Hawaii’s highest count of visitor arrivals since statewide lockdown

  • DENNIS ODA / JUNE 24
                                Travelers arrive and depart at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

    DENNIS ODA / JUNE 24

    Travelers arrive and depart at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.

With the July 4th holiday advancing, Hawaii hit its highest one-day visitor count in recent months.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported today that some 754 visitors were among the 2,424 passengers who came to Hawaii Wednesday on 24 flights. The visitor count was the highest since COVID-19 tourism lockdowns began about 14 weeks ago.

Also included in the count were 516 residents and 250 people who said they intended to relocate to Hawaii. There also were 270 airline crew members and 96 airline transit passengers who didn’t plan to leave the airport. Some 432 passengers were military members and another 106 were exempt from the quarantine.

Visitor arrivals to Hawaii have been increasing over the summer and especially into the July 4th holiday weekend. Still, visitor traffic is way below what it was at this time last year, when an average of 35,000 passengers a day flew into Hawaii’s airports.

Part of the reason is that visitors don’t like the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for out-of-state passengers that the state implemented on March 26.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported Monday that visitor arrivals by air in May fell 99% to 9,116 visitors as compared with May 2019 when 841,376 arrivals came to Hawaii by air and cruise ship. Cruise ships haven’t returned to Hawaii since stopping service in the early days of the pandemic in Hawaii.

Gov. David Ige announced last week that starting Aug. 1 the state would allow passengers with approved negative COVID-19 tests taken within 72 hours of their trip to Hawaii may bypass the state’s mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for out-of-state passengers. The out-of-state quarantine runs through July 31 and is expected to be extended.

The majority or 593 of Wednesday’s visitor arrivals went to Oahu. However, 48 visitors traveled to Kona, 79 to Maui and 34 to Lihue.

According to data that was collected from the Hawaii Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Mandatory Travel Declaration Form, most of the 578 Oahu visitors who answered a question about the purpose of their trip said that they were coming to Hawaii to see friends and family.

As many as 399 or 69% of Oahu visitors said they planned to visit friends or family. Another 20% or 117 said they were coming here on vacation. As many as 48 Oahu visitors or 8% said they were here on business and another 29 or 5% said they were relocating here.

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