comscore Hawaii’s domestic visitor count climbs in June, but international tourism still low | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Hawaii’s domestic visitor count climbs in June, but international tourism still low

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / JUNE 29
                                A crowded Waikiki beach, in front of Royal Hawaiian Hotel, illustrates the summer surge in visitors to Hawaii.

    CRAIG T. KOJIMA / JUNE 29

    A crowded Waikiki beach, in front of Royal Hawaiian Hotel, illustrates the summer surge in visitors to Hawaii.

Domestic visitors to Hawaii in June were up by double digits from pre-pandemic times, but total visitor arrivals were still down 16.5% due to the continued drop off in international arrivals.

Some 791,053 visitors arrived by air service to Hawaii in June, according to preliminary visitor statistics jointly released today by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Total visitor spending in June almost reached $1.44 billion, which was down nearly 12% from the $1.63 billion attained in June 2019.

Last month, airlines offered 994,026 trans-Pacific seats, which was still down nearly 16% from the same time in 2019. There were no cruise ship arrivals last month.

The results represented a significant jump from June 2020 when pandemic lockdowns and COVID-19 fears dropped arrivals by air to just 17,068 visitors, a number so negligible that the state quit measuring spending.

Not all markets fared the same last month.

Arrivals and spending from the U.S. West and U.S. East tourism markets surpassed 2019 levels.

Last month, 521,796 visitors arrived from the U.S. West, exceeding the June 2019 count of 452,958 visitors by more than 15%. U.S. West visitors spent $916 million last month, nearly 33% higher than the $691.2 million spent in June 2019.

Some 247,382 visitors came to Hawaii from the U.S. East in June 2021, 3% more than the 240,223 visitors who came to Hawaii in June 2019. U.S. East visitors last month spent $513.3 million, a gain of nearly 5% from $491.1 million in June of 2019.

However, arrivals from Japan, Hawaii’s top international market and one of its highest spending markets, continued to lag.

Only 1,859 visitors came from Japan in June, which was nearly 99% down from the 126,592 visitors that came in June 2019. Spending also fell to $7.4 million, down 96% compared with $182 million in June 2019.

Only 627 visitors arrived from the Canadian market, which brought 19,172 visitors to Hawaii in June 2019.

Some 19,390 visitors came from the category called All Other International Markets, which included everything outside of Japan and Canada, as compared with June 2019 when 107,428 such visitors came to Hawaii.

On any given day in June, there were 255,936 visitors in Hawaii compared with 15,223 visitors a day in June 2020, and 277,930 visitors a day in June 2019.

June’s tourism performance helped make up ground from the earlier part of this year when fewer visitors were coming.

More than 2.75 million visitors arrived in the first half of 2021, up nearly 28% percent from the first half of 2020. However, total arrivals through this June were still 46.8 % lower than in 2019, which was Hawaii’s best year for tourism.

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