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Recovery of Hawaii visitor arrivals slows slightly in May

  • STAR-ADVERTISER FILE
                                Waikiki Beach. Beach near Moana Surfrider Hotel.

    STAR-ADVERTISER FILE

    Waikiki Beach. Beach near Moana Surfrider Hotel.

Some 776,375 visitors arrived in the Hawaiian islands in May representing a 91.6% recovery rate from the pre-pandemic May of 2019, according to preliminary visitor statistics released today by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT).

May’s recovery rate was lower than the 96.3% arrivals recovery rate achieved in April, when spring-breakers were filling the Hawaii market. Still, May represented the second-highest recovery rate since March 2020.

On any given day in Hawaii in May there were 222,071 visitors, just 2.9% lower than the average daily census of 228,768 visitors that came to the Hawaiian islands in May 2019.

Visitors in May spent $1.56 billion, a nominal spending increase of 10.6% compared to the $1.41 billion reported for May 2019.

The gain in nominal spending was domestic driven.

DBEDT Director Mike McCartney said in a statement,” This is the 13th consecutive month that U.S. visitor arrivals have been higher than the same month in 2019.”

In May, 453,989 visitors arrived by air from the U.S. West, an increase of 17.1% compared to 387,844 visitors in May 2019. Spending from U.S. West visitors rose 38.8% to $782.7 million. Daily spending by U.S. West visitors in May reached $206 per person, up 18.7% from May 2019.

Visitors from the U.S. East rose 11.4% to 222,144 visitors in May. They spent $550.3 million in May, up 40.2% from the $392.4 million that visitors spent in May 2019. Daily spending by U.S. East visitors in May reached $259 per person, up 22.6% from May 2019.

McCartney said Hawaii’s top international market of Japan in May achieved its highest month for visitor arrivals since April 2020.

But he added that” The U.S. market is on record pace for year-end arrivals while the international market remains low.”

There were 7,167 visitors from Japan in May, but that was down 93.7% from the 113,226 visitors who came to Hawaii in May 2019. Visitors from Japan spent $15.6 million in May down 90.4% from $162.4 million in May. However, daily spending by Japanese visitors in May reached $245 per person, which was slightly higher than the $244 per person that was spent in May 2019.

Year to date through May, some 3,588,405 visitors arrived in Hawaii, a decrease of 15% from May 2019. But visitor spending was up 2.3% to $7.39 billion.

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