HONOLULU — April marked the highest recovery rate for visitor arrivals to Hawaii since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to preliminary statistics released by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
According to the newly released data, 827,537 visitors arrived in Hawaii in April, an increase of 1.1% from April 2022 and a 97.4% recovery in total visitor arrivals from April 2019, the benchmark year before the pandemic.
Visitors spent $1.7 billion in April, an 8% improvement over the previous April and a 30.7% increase over April 2019 ($1.32 billion).
The average length of stay by all visitors in April 2023 was 8.58 days compared to 8.68 days in April 2022 and 8.25 days in April 2019. The statewide average daily census was 236,661 visitors in April 2023, compared to 236,835 in April 2022 and 233,616 in April 2019.
In April 2023, 465,116 visitors arrived from the U.S. West, down nearly 10% from April 2022 (514,878 visitors) but higher than April 2019 (388,573 visitors). During the same month, there were 186,695 visitors from the U.S. East, a slight drop from April 2022 (188,868 visitors) but more than 17% higher than April 2019 (159,115 visitors).
“April marked the 24th consecutive month where visitor arrivals from the U.S. mainland exceeded 2019 monthly levels for those respective months,” said DBEDT director James Tokioka. “April U.S. visitor arrivals were 19% higher than the same month in 2019. It is encouraging to see the cruise market continue its recovery as the 21,328 visitors that came by cruise ships marked the second-highest count since the start of the pandemic.”
Visitors from Japan increased significantly over the past year. This April, there were 34,358 visitors from Japan compared to 6,749 visitors the year before, a 409.1% jump. The figure still significantly trails the 119,487 Japanese visitors who came in April 2019.
“It will take a while for the international visitor arrivals to recover to pre-pandemic levels,” Tokioka said. “The recovery of international markets this April was at 55.8% and Japanese arrivals were at 28.8% of the April 2019 levels. Visitor expenditures, as measured by nominal dollars, were 21.7% higher compared with the same period in 2019. After adjusting for inflation, real visitor spending was higher than the pre-pandemic level.”
In April 2023, a total of 5,014 trans-Pacific flights with 1,085,186 seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands, down 3% from 5,171 flights with 1,085,948 seats in April 2022, and 5,031 flights with 1,112,200 seats in April 2019.