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Hawaii visitors fell 98% in June, contributing to overall decline for first six months

  • DENNIS ODA / STAR-ADVERTISER
                                Travelers waited to collect their luggage, June 24, at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported today that visitor arrivals to Hawaii in June fell to 17,068, a 98% decrease from the same month last year.

    DENNIS ODA / STAR-ADVERTISER

    Travelers waited to collect their luggage, June 24, at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported today that visitor arrivals to Hawaii in June fell to 17,068, a 98% decrease from the same month last year.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority reported today that visitor arrivals to Hawaii in June fell to 17,068, a 98% decrease from the same month last year.

The drop in visitor arrivals continued the monthly declines, which began in March as COVID-19 fears and government lockdowns collapsed tourism.

January and February kicked off what was thought to be another strong year for Hawaii tourism, which last grew to 10.4 million visitors, who spent nearly $18 billion.

Year-to-date through June, there’s been a nearly 59% drop in visitor arrivals to nearly 2.2 million visitors.

“The majority of visitors are from the U.S. West and U.S. East,” said Jennifer Chun, HTA director of tourism research.“All flights are from the U.S. except for a flight from Guam and Manila.”

Most of the visitors that came to Hawaii in June, some 10,149, were from the state’s core U.S. West tourism source market. As many as 5,596 visitors also came from the U.S. East, Hawaii’s second-largest visitor source market. In June, only 40 visitors came from Japan, which is Hawaii’s top international market.

Only 57 visitors in June came from the mature Canadian visitor source market. Another 1,226 June visitors came from all the other international markets, mostly from Guam, and a small number came from Oceania, Asian nations outside of Japan, Europe, Latin America, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and the Pacific Islands.

The drop in travel demand for Hawaii and concerns about the spread of COVID-19 have had a dramatic impact on Hawaii’s tourism infrastructure as well. Most of Hawaii’s lodging temporarily closed in March, and only some of it has returned to the market.

Airlines, which have been among the most devastated businesses, also dramatically dropped service to Hawaii. Carriers serving Hawaii removed nearly 91% of their air seats in June, a month where there were only 110,570 trans-Pacific air seats available in the market.

Carriers did not offer any direct flights or scheduled seats from Japan, Canada, Oceania, and other Asian nations outside Japan. Scheduled seats from the U.S. East were down nearly 95% and they were down more than 88% from the U.S. West.

Year-to-date, there were just over 3.5 million scheduled air seats, a nearly 48% drop from the first six months of 2019.

HTA also reported today that only 570 visitors were part of the 2,380 arriving out-of-state that flew into Hawaii on 26 flights on Wednesday.

Normally in June, out-of-state passenger arrivals coming into Hawaii average 35,000 passengers a day, most of them visitors.

Most of the visitors, some 498, said they were going to Oahu. However, 37 visitors went to Maui and 35 to Kona.

Most of the Oahu visitors said they planned to visit family and friends; however, some were also coming for business, to relocate to Hawaii or to vacation.

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