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VIDEO: Before and after footage shows a once nearly empty Waikiki Beach at the start of the pandemic is now a busy hotspot

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View a side-by-side comparison of a nearly empty Waikiki Beach in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic and this month.

After a year of the coronavirus pandemic, Waikiki is showing some signs of recovery as visitors return to pack the state’s top tourism district.

Hawaii tourism saw a solid bump in air travel earlier this month when it realized the highest three-day tourism streak since the pandemic began.⁠

Now crowds are returning to Waikiki Beach to get their tan on. According to the latest data compiled by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, a total of 12,011 trans-­Pacific passengers said they were traveling for vacation or pleasure Tuesday. Honolulu welcomed 5,526 vacationers, while the neighbor islands recorded 6,485 vacationers, according to HTA.

Compare those numbers to the same time last year when Hawaii saw just 121 visitors. The typically busy tourism destination emptied out and was void of crowds thanks to the mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers, and the statewide stay-at-home, work-from-home order aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

See the drastic difference in this side-by-side comparison of Waikiki Beach in March 2020 compared with footage taken recently this year on March 25. Watch the video above.

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