Mon, Aug 29, 2022 11:55 AM
By Kim Jarrett, The Center Square
More than 919,000 people visited Hawaii in July, which is the most since January 2020, according to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
The number represents a 92.4% recovery from July 2019, according to DBEDT.
The number of visitors remained lower than pre-pandemic numbers, but visitors were spending more. Visitors spent $1.94 billion in July of this year compared to $1.7 billion in July 2019, a 14.3% increase, according to the DBEDT.
"As we pass the middle half of 2022 and compare the state's economic recovery through tourism with 2019, visitors spent 5.8% or $610.1 million more during the same period with arrivals to Hawaii lower by 13.2% or -815,906 for the first seven months," said DBEDT Director Mike McCartney in a statement. "We are currently 86.8% recovered from 2019."
Visits from other states accounted for most of the visitors to the state. More than 528,000 came from the U.S. West, an increase of 14.2% from July 2019. The number of visitors from the U.S. East grew 2.3% from July 2019, with more than 240,000 visitors, according to the DBEDT.
The number of visitors from Japan remained significantly lower when compared to July 2019. Just over 23,000 visitors came to Hawaii from Japan, an 82.8% decrease from July 2019, according to the DBEDT.
"Travel demand from Japan is anticipated to gradually increase as we head into the fall and winter seasons, with the recent resumption of air service between Tokyo-Kona and Tokyo-Honolulu adding to the steady return of international flights," said John De Fries, chief executive officer of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, in a statement.
State officials do not expect a full recovery in tourism until 2025.