HONOLULU — Visitor spending last month was $1.12 billion, a 15.3% drop from the same month two years ago, before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to preliminary visitor statistics released by the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. 

Visitor spending statistics for October 2020 weren’t available due to COVID restrictions. 

What You Need To Know

  • There have been no cruise ship activities so far this year

  • During the first 10 months of 2021, a total of 5,410,436 visitors traveled to Hawaii, which is more than double the arrival count from 2020 and a 37.3% decrease from the first 10 months in 2019

  • Complete statistics for October 2021 can be found here

Last month, a total of 550,781 visitors arrived by air to the Hawaiian Islands, mainly traveling from the U.S. mainland. That represents a 30.8% drop from pre-pandemic times two years earlier when 796,191 visitors came to the islands. On Aug. 23, Gov. David Ige called on visitors to delay all non-essential travel because of the surge in COVID cases.

In comparison, 76,691 visitors arrived by air in October 2020 and 796,191 visitors arrived by air and by cruise ships in October 2019.

The average daily census, which measures the number of visitors present on any given day, shows the visitor count at 164,454 last month compared to 39,432 in October 2020 and 215,125 in October 2019.

Visitors from the western U.S. numbered 364,687 in October (of the 550,781 total), spending $687.3 million while here. In comparison, they numbered 53,452 in October 2020 and 354,007 in October 2019.

Visitors from the eastern U.S. numbered 157,003 last month, spending $360.6 million while in the islands. They numbered 19,600 in October 2020 and 148,075 in October 2019. 

Visitors from Japan numbered 2,155 last month, 161 in October 2020 and 134,557 in October 2019. The Japanese spent $6.9 million while here last month compared to $195.7 million in October 2019.

Visitors from Canada numbered 9,657 in October of this year, compared to 389 in October 2020 and 32,250 in October 2019. Canadians spent $30.3 million last month compared to $63 million in October 2019.

Visitors from all other international markets totaled 17,279 last month. This sector includes Other Asia, Europe, Latin America, Oceania, Guam, the Philippines and Pacific Islands. Their numbers were 3,088 in October 2020 and 106,786 in October 2019.

The statistics indicate that from January through October of this year, total visitor spending was $10.16 billion. This is a 30.6% decline from the $14.63 billion spent January through October of 2019.

The visitor breakdown by island for last month shows 257,286 visitors on Oahu, 189,950 on Maui, 84,540 on Kauai and 94,091 on Hawaii Island.

“Although we are 37% below 2019 levels, we are now on pace to end 2021 ahead of DBEDT’s third quarter economic forecast of 6.8 million visitor arrivals and $12.2 billion in spending due to a strong U.S. leisure market,” said DBEDT Director Mike McCartney in a statement. “Hawaii’s visitor economy is doing better than expected and is open for business.”

McCartney added that 2022 will start off with added momentum with the return of international travelers and the opening of the Indoor Meetings, Convention and Incentive market.

In a statement, Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO John De Fries said, “The growth in demand is encouraging for our economy and a credit to the people of Hawaii who have been diligent in keeping our community safe and healthy, and keeping the spirit of aloha alive.”