VISITOR ARRIVAL RECOVERY RATE LOWER IN MAY
HONOLULU – According to preliminary visitor statistics released by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), a total of 776,375 visitors came to the Hawaiian Islands in May 2022, representing a 91.6 percent recovery from May 2019. Though this recovery rate is lower than that of April (96.3%), it is the second highest recovery rate since March 2020. Visitors spent $1.56 billion in the state in May, an increase of 10.6 percent compared to the $1.41 billion reported for May 2019.
Visitor Spending and Visitor Arrivals by Major Market
Of the total visitors, 774,144 arrived by air service, mainly from the U.S. West and U.S. East. Additionally, 2,231 visitors arrived by cruise ships. In comparison, 847,396 visitors (-8.4%) arrived by air (-7.4%) and by cruise ships (-80.3%) in May 2019. The average length of stay by all visitors in May 2022 was 8.87 days, up from 8.37 days (+6.0%) in May 2019.
The statewide average daily census1 was 222,071 visitors in May 2022 compared to 228,768 visitors (-2.9%) in May 2019.
In May 2022, 453,989 visitors arrived by air from the U.S. West, an increase of 17.1 percent compared to 387,844 visitors in May 2019. U.S. West visitors spent $782.7 million in May 2022, up 38.8 percent from $564 million in May 2019. Daily spending by U.S. West visitors in May 2022 ($206 per person) was much higher compared to May 2019 ($174 per person, +18.7%).
There were 222,144 visitors from the U.S. East in May 2022, an 11.4 percent growth compared to the 199,344 visitors in May 2019. U.S. East visitors spent $550.3 million in May 2022, up 40.2 percent from $392.4 million in May 2019. Daily spending by U.S. East visitors in May 2022 ($259 per person) increased substantially in comparison to May 2019 ($211 per person, +22.6%).
There were 7,167 visitors from Japan in May 2022 compared to 113,226 visitors (-93.7%) in May 2019. Visitors from Japan spent $15.6 million in May 2022 compared to $162.4 million (-90.4%) in May 2019. Daily spending by Japanese visitors in May 2022 ($245 per person) was slightly higher compared to May 2019 ($244 per person, +0.4%).
In May 2022, 25,320 visitors arrived from Canada compared to 26,424 visitors (-4.2%) in May 2019. Visitors from Canada spent $55.4 million in May 2022, compared to $48.3 million (+14.8%) in May 2019. Daily spending by Canadian visitors in May 2022 ($204 per person) increased compared to May 2019 ($170 per person, +20%).
In May 2022, there were 65,523 visitors from All Other International Markets, which included visitors from Oceania, Other Asia, Europe, Latin America, Guam, Philippines and the Pacific Islands. In comparison, there were 109,220 visitors (-40%) from All Other International Markets in May 2019.
In May 2022, a total of 5,049 trans-Pacific flights with 1,039,362 seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands, compared to 5,085 flights with 1,118,421 seats in May 2019.
Through the first five months of 2022, total visitor spending was $7.39 billion, up 2.3 percent from $7.23 billion in the first five months of 2019. A total of 3,588,405 visitors arrived in the first five months of 2022 which was a decrease compared to the first five months of 2019 at 4,224,071 visitors (-15%).
Statement by DBEDT Director Mike McCartney:
This is the 13th consecutive month that U.S. visitor arrivals have been higher than the same month in 2019. The U.S. market is on record pace for year-end arrivals while the international market remains low. Overall year to date visitor arrivals are 15 percent below 2019 levels while visitor spending is 2.3 percent above.
Japanese visitor arrivals are at the highest in the month of May since April 2020. All visitors spent 10.6 percent, or $150 million more, in the Hawaiian Islands in the month of May compared to May 2019.
In the second half of 2022, we see a slow-down in flights from the U.S. mainland. However, we are looking forward to the steady return of international visitors, with an increase in arrivals from Japan.
We must remain vigilant because of the global uncertainty of rising fuel costs, reduction in airline routes, staffing shortages, inflation, cost of goods, and the currency exchange rates, which are contributing factors in a traveler’s decision on their destination of choice. Let’s not take for granted and rely on past traveler choices for the first time or return visitor coming for a Hawai‘i vacation. Instead, we must be focused and resilient in this globally competitive and evolving travel economy by concentrating our efforts on a regenerative stewardship program, taking care of our natural resources, refreshing our events and attractions, and investing in healthy communities, which will only make the visitor industry stronger and more vibrant.
COVID-19 and its variants have not gone away, so as an island family, we must continue to look out for each other and remain vigilant in the fight against the virus.
Statement by HTA President and CEO John De Fries:
Hawai‘i’s visitor industry continued to see gradual recovery in May, primarily fueled by increased visitor spending from the U.S. and Canada. These visitors infused dollars into our economy that circulated in our shops, restaurants, accommodations, activities, attractions, and community-based festivals and events. Additionally, it supported small businesses while providing ample career opportunities for kama‘āina families throughout Hawaiʻi.