Maui News

Tourism Report: Maui Visitors for Dec. 2020 Down 67.2 Percent from 2019

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Maui visitors for Dec. 2020 was down 67.2 percent from a year ago. Photo Credit: Kā‘anapali Beach Resort Association

Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry continues to be severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with December 2020 visitor arrivals down 75.2 percent compared to a year ago, according to preliminary statistics released by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s Tourism Research Division.

For Maui, there were 90,605 (-67.2 percent) visitors on Maui in December 2020 versus 275,419 visitors a year ago. December 2020 visitor spending on Maui was $185.9 million (-63.8%). Total visitor days declined 58 percent from December 2019. For all of 2020, arrivals on Maui decreased 74.1 percent to 791,660 visitors.

For December 2020, a total of 235,793 visitors traveled to Hawaiʻi by air service compared to 952,441 visitors who came by air service and cruise ships in December 2019. Total visitor days declined 66.9 percent compared to December 2019.

Most of the visitors were from the US West (151,988, -63.7%) and US East (71,537, -66.8%). In addition, 3,833 came from Canada (-94.0%) and 1,889 visitors came from Japan (-98.6%).

There were 6,547 visitors from “All Other International Markets” (-93.8%). Many of these visitors were from Guam, and a small number of visitors were from “Other Asia, Europe, Latin America, Oceania, Philippines and Pacific Islands.”


Available spending statistics for December 2020 were all from US visitors. US West visitors spent $280.4 million (-59.8%) in December, with average daily spending at $157 per person (-12.8%). US East visitors spent $170.4 million (-65.1%) and an average daily amount o f$182 per person (-16.5%).

A total of 599,440 trans-Pacific air seats serviced the Hawaiian Islands in December, a decrease of 52.2 percent from a year ago. There were no scheduled seats from Oceania, and significantly fewer scheduled seats from Other Asia (-97.9%), Japan (-93.2%), Canada (-78.3%), US East (-47.7%), US West (-36.4%) and Other countries (-55.4%) compared to a year ago.

Other Island Highlights:

  • O‘ahu: In December, visitor spending on O‘ahu was $156.5 million (-79.9%). Total visitor days decreased 68.6 percent from a year ago. There were 112,856 visitors on O‘ahu compared to visitors in December 2019. For all of 2020, visitor arrivals dropped 75.4 percent to 1,515,013 visitors.
  • Kaua‘i: In December, visitor spending on Kaua‘i was $10.4 million (-94.1%). Total visitor days were down 92.3 percent compared to December 2019. There were 3,759 visitors on Kaua‘i in December compared to 124,356 visitors a year ago. For all of 2020, visitor arrivals dropped 75.8 percent to 330,954 visitors.
  • Hawai‘i Island: In December, visitor spending on Hawai‘i Island was $98.0 million (-62.7%). Total visitor days decreased 58.4 percent from December 2019. There were 48,134 visitors on Hawai‘i Island in December compared to 177,912 visitors a year ago. For all of 2020, arrivals fell 72.1 percent to 492,325 visitors.

Annual 2020 Statistics

Flight cancellations to the Hawaiian Islands began in February 2020, initially affecting the China market. On March 14, the CDC began enforcing the No Sail Order on cruise ships. On March 17, Hawaii Governor David Ige asked upcoming visitors to postpone their trips for at least the next 30 days. The counties also began issuing stay-at-home orders.


Effective March 26, all passengers arriving from out-of-state were required to abide by a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. Exemptions included travel for essential reasons like work or health care.

By the end of March the majority of flights to Hawaii were cancelled, and the visitor industry was severely impacted. On April 1, the mandatory self-quarantine was extended to inter-island travel and the state’s four counties enforced strict stay-at-home orders and curfews that month. Nearly all trans-Pacific flights to Hawaii were cancelled in April.

For the year 2020, total visitor arrivals declined 73.8 percent from the previous year to 2,716,195 visitors. Total visitor days fell 68.2 percent.

There were significantly fewer arrivals by air service (-73.8% to 2,686,403). Arrivals by cruise ships, which only operated the first few months of 2020, also decreased considerably (-79.2% to 29,792).

In 2020, visitor arrivals by air service decreased sharply from US West (-71.6% to 1,306,388), US East (-70.3% to 676,061), Japan (-81.1% to 297,243), Canada (-70.2% to 161,201) and All Other International Markets (-80.4% to 245,510).


Other Highlights:

US West: In December 2020, 118,332 visitors arrived from the Pacific region compared to 336,689 visitors a year ago, and 33,563 visitors came from the Mountain region compared to 77,819 a year ago.

For the year 2020, visitor arrivals decreased considerably from both the regions of the Pacific (-72.6% to 999,075) and Mountain (-67.3% to 286,731) versus 2019.

US East: Of the 71,537 US East visitors in December, the majority were from the South Atlantic (-65.9% to 16,194), West South Central (-56.9% to 15,285) and East North Central (-68.5% to 14,698) regions.

For the year 2020, visitor arrivals declined significantly from all regions, including the three largest: East North Central (-67.9% to 138,999), South Atlantic (-73.3% to 133,564) and West South Central (72.2% to 114,145).

Japan: In December, 1,889 visitors arrived from Japan compared to 136,635 visitors a year ago. Of the 1,889 visitors, 1,799 arrived on international flights from Japan and 90 came on domestic flights. For all of 2020, arrivals dropped 81.1 percent to 297,243 visitors. Japanese nationals returning from abroad were required to quarantine for 14 days.

Canada: In December, 3,833 visitors arrived from Canada compared to 64,182 visitors a year ago. Direct flights from Canada resumed in December and brought 2,964 visitors. The remaining 869 visitors arrived on domestic flights. For all of 2020, arrivals were down 70.2 percent to 161,201 visitors.

View the full report here.


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