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HTA NEWS RELEASE: Hawaii Visitor Statistics Released for September 2020

Posted on Oct 29, 2020 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – The COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected visitor arrivals to the Hawaiian Islands in September 2020. Visitor arrivals decreased 97.4 percent compared to a year ago, according to preliminary statistics released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s (HTA) Tourism Research Division.

All passengers arriving from out-of-state during September were required to abide by a mandatory

14-day self-quarantine. Exemptions include travel for essential reasons like work or healthcare. There was also a partial interisland quarantine for anyone traveling to the counties of Kauai, Hawaii, Maui, and Kalawao (Molokai) during September. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continued to enforce the “No Sail Order” on all cruise ships.

In September 2020, a total of 18,868 visitors traveled to Hawaii by air service, compared to 736,155 visitors who came by air service and cruise ships in September 2019. Most of the visitors were from U.S. West (9,994, -96.7%) and U.S. East (6,033, -95.5%). Only 79 visitors came from Japan (-99.9%) and 162 came from Canada (-99.3%). There were 2,601 visitors from All Other International Markets (-97.7%). Many of these visitors were from Guam, and a small number of visitors were from the Philippines, Other Asia, Europe, Latin America, Oceania and the Pacific Islands. Total visitor days1 dropped 89.9 percent year-over-year.

A total of 156,220 trans-Pacific air seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands in September, down 84.6 percent from a year ago. There were no direct flights or scheduled seats from Canada, Oceania, and Other Asia, and very few scheduled seats from Japan (-99.8%), U.S. East (-85.9%), U.S. West (-79.1%), and Other countries (-54.7%).

Year-to-Date 2020

In the first nine months of 2020, total visitor arrivals declined 71.6 percent to 2,220,009 visitors, with considerably fewer arrivals by air service (-71.7% to 2,190,217) and by cruise ships (-68.7% to 29,792) compared to the same period a year ago. Total visitor days fell 67.3 percent.

Year-to-date, visitor arrivals by air service declined from U.S. West (-72.1% to 963,552), U.S. East (-69.1% to 544,736), Japan (-74.9% to 294,647), Canada (-60.3% to 156,177) and All Other International Markets (-75.9% to 231,105).

Other Highlights:

U.S. West: In September, 7,682 visitors arrived from the Pacific region compared to 246,037 visitors a year ago, and 2,311 visitors came from the Mountain region compared to 58,638 a year ago. Through the first nine months of 2020, visitor arrivals decreased significantly from both the Pacific (-73.4% to 727,904) and Mountain (-67.1% to 215,161) regions year-over-year.

U.S. East: Of the 6,033 U.S. East visitors in September, the majority were from the South Atlantic (-94.6% to 1,860), West South Central (-95.3% to 1,290) and East North Central (-96.5% to 860) regions. Through the first nine months of 2020, visitor arrivals declined sharply from all regions. The three largest regions, East North Central (-65.4% to 113,466), South Atlantic (-73.3% to 102,559) and West North Central (-54.0% to 95,960) saw dramatic decreases compared to the first nine months of 2019.

Japan: In September, 79 visitors arrived from Japan compared to 143,928 visitors a year ago.

Year-to-date through September, arrivals declined 74.9 percent to 294,647 visitors. Japanese nationals returning from abroad were required to quarantine for 14 days at a designated location.

Canada: In September, 162 visitors arrived from Canada compared to 21,928 visitors a year ago. All 162 visitors came to Hawaii on domestic flights. Year-to-date through September, arrivals dropped 60.3 percent to 156,177 visitors. U.S. borders with Canada have been closed since March 2020 and border crossings were largely restricted to essential workers and citizens returning home. Residents returning to Canada were required to quarantine for 14 days.

[1] Aggregate number of days stayed by all visitors.

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About the Hawaii Tourism Authority

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is the State of Hawaii agency responsible for strategically managing its support of the tourism industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawaii’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure tourism’s sustainability and the benefits it brings to residents and communities statewide.

For more information about HTA, please visit Follow updates about HTA on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (@HawaiiHTA) and its YouTube Channel.

For more information, contact:

Marisa Yamane

Director of Communications & PR

Hawaii Tourism Authority

[email protected]


Jennifer Chun

Director of Tourism Research

Hawaii Tourism Authority

[email protected]