Hawaii reports an increase in arrivals for the first time in a year

Published on : Friday, April 30, 2021

According to preliminary statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), visitor arrivals to Hawaii during March 2021 rose 1.1 percent compared to a year ago. This was the first time in a year where visitor arrivals were up, but the year-to-date arrivals were still significantly down (-60.1%). On average, there were currently 137,440 visitors in Hawaii on any given day last month in March. Most visitors have been able to undergo a mandatory 10-day self-quarantine by providing a valid negative COVID-19 test result from a Trusted Testing Partner. Most of the visitors were from the U.S. while there were also some visitors from Japan, Canada, and other international markets.


A total of 439,785 visitors travelled to Hawaii by air service last month, compared to 434,856 visitors who came by air service (430,691, +2.1%) and cruise ships (4,165 visitors) in March 2020. The average daily census showed that there were 137,440 visitors in Hawaii on any given day in March 2021, compared to 127,760 visitors per day in March 2020. All trans-Pacific travellers participating in the pre-travel testing program were required to have a negative test result before their departure to Hawaii. Kauai County continued to temporarily suspend its participation in the state’s Safe Travels program, making it mandatory for all trans-Pacific travellers to Kauai to quarantine upon arrival except for those participating in a pre-and post-travel testing program at a “resort bubble” property as a way to shorten their time in quarantine.


The counties of Hawaii, Maui and Kalawao (Molokai) also had a partial quarantine in place in March. In addition, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continued to enforce the “Conditional Sailing Order” on all cruise ships. The coronavirus pandemic highly affected Hawaii’s visitor industry a year ago. On March 26, 2020, the state implemented 14-day mandatory travel quarantine and nearly all trans-Pacific and interisland flights were canceled, cruise ship activities were suspended and tourism almost came to a standstill. This continued until mid-October when the state initiated the Safe Travels program, which allowed trans-Pacific travelers to bypass the quarantine if they had a valid negative test for COVID-19. During March 2021, most passengers arriving from out-of-state and traveling inter-county could bypass the State’s mandatory 10-day self-quarantine with a valid negative COVID-19 NAAT test result from a Trusted Testing Partner through the state’s Safe Travels program.


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