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U.S. visitors to Hawaii in March up near double digits from pre-pandemic times

Domestic visitor arrivals to Hawaii in March were nearly 10% better than the same month in pre-pandemic times, helping to keep the loss in total visitor arrivals to about 15% below March 2019.

March visitor spending, which reached $1.5 billion was 2.5% better than the $1.48 billion generated in March 2019, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

In March, 788,931 visitors arrived in the islands. That was up significantly from the 433,167 visitors who came to Hawaii in March 2020, the month when Hawaii reported its first COVID case. It was also better than the 439,785 who visited Hawaii in March 2021. However, the results were down from the 928,849 who traveled to Hawaii in March 2019.

On any given day in March, there were 226,857 visitors in Hawaii. The results were 9% below the 250,528 that came in March 2019.But they were up from an average of 126,739 visitors a day in 2020, and 137,440 visitors a day in 2021.

The U.S. West, Hawaii’s core visitors market, was responsible for bringing 452,752 visitors to Hawaii in March,which was 13.5% better than the 399,049 U.S. visitors who came to Hawaii in March 2019. Visitors from the U.S. West spent $805.5 million, which surpassed March 2019’s spending by 39.3%.

As many as 233,386 visitors came from the U.S. East in March, up 3% from the same month in 2019. They spent $507 million, an increase of 25.3% from March 2019.

Normally, Japan is Hawaii’s best international source market. But only 4,038 visitors from Japan came to Hawaii in March — down 97% from the 133,858 visitors from Japan who came in March 2019. Japan package tours operators on Friday will start bringing their first guests to Hawaii since the pandemic, with more travelers from Japan expected with the further easing of restrictions by the Japanese government. The Japan Association of Travel Agents expects visitors from Japan to Hawaii will reach 40% of the strength of 2019 by year’s end and will be equal or better than pre-pandemic times next year.

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