The number of visitors who flew to Hawaii dipped to 622 on Wednesday, 99 fewer than on Tuesday, according to data released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
Despite the mandatory, 14-day quarantine, now in place for 15 weeks, the numbers continue to grow month over month, with the numbers so far in July averaging 713.
On Wednesday, a total of 2,387 passengers arrived by air on 26 flights. In addition to the 622 visitors, there were 789 returning residents, and 171 planning to relocate to Hawaii.
Among those exempt were 322 from the military, and 127 who received prior approval from the state, which includes medical and health care workers, as well as workers from “federal critical infrastructure sectors.”
There were also 233 flight crew and 123 in transit.
As usual, the majority of the visitors, 524, landed on Oahu, while 65 went to Maui and 33 to Kona on Hawaii island.
Most of the visitors to Oahu — 73% or 383 out of 524— said they were here to visit friends and family.
Another 42 said they were here to vacation, while 32 were here on business, and 11 were here for a combination of vacation and visiting friends and family.
The biggest spike in visitors this month was on the Thursday before the Fourth of July weekend, with 937 visitors arriving from out of state.
Still, the highest numbers recently represent a minuscule percentage of the 35,000 passengers that used to arrive in Hawaii daily, including both residents and visitors, during the same time last year, according to HTA.
Visitor arrivals have plunged since Gov. David Ige on March 26 ordered all travelers to Hawaii — and in April, all interisland travelers — to undergo a mandatory, two-week quarantine to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus. The interisland quarantine was lifted on June 16.
Gov. David Ige had previously announced plans to revive tourism starting Aug. 1, by allowing out-of-state travelers the option of bypassing the quarantine with an approved, negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their departure for Hawaii.
However, Ige, along with county mayors and health officials have been grappling over whether to proceed with that start date, particularly when coronavirus cases are surging in U.S. mainland states that provide visitors to Hawaii, as well as concerns over access to testing. Another meeting is being held today to make a final determination.
The data is collected from the state’s mandatory travel declaration form.