Maui News

HTA: Latest COVID-19 Visitor Survey Names Limited Capacity as Biggest Issue

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Kahului Airport: May 29, 2021. Photo by JD Pells
Kahului Airport: May 29, 2021. Photo by JD Pells

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority released the results of its latest special tracking study, which surveyed visitors from the US mainland who visited Hawaiʻi from May 15 through May 24, 2021, to gauge their experience with Hawaiʻi’s Safe Travels program and overall trip satisfaction. This is the third visitor survey in a series that started at the end of last year.

An estimated 76% of visitors who were polled, rated their trip as “excellent,” down slightly from March (82%) and December/January (85%). The biggest issue cited (30%) by the respondents pertained to the limited capacity or availability of restaurants and attractions.

An estimated 89% of the visitors who were polled in this latest study said they were fully vaccinated. The HTA reports that repeat visitors were more likely to be fully vaccinated along with college graduates and those with household incomes above $100,000.


While community COVID-19 restrictions remained in place during their trip, 82 percent of visitors indicated they were able to do all or most of the activities they had planned.

The recent survey also revealed that visitors with a household income below $100,000 were more satisfied with their trip than those with a household income above $100,000. Additionally, those who visited only one island were more satisfied than those who visited multiple islands.

When asked about their experience, 93% of respondents rated the friendliness of workers and residents as “excellent” or “above average.” Most visitors also rated their hotel or place of lodging as excellent.


During May 2021, Hawaii’s Safe Travels program allowed most passengers arriving from out-of-state and traveling inter-county to bypass the mandatory 10-day self-quarantine with a valid negative COVID-19 NAAT test result from a Trusted Testing Partner.

Regarding Safe Travels, the numbers have remained relatively consistent throughout the three surveys, with virtually all visitors (98%) aware of Hawaiʻi’s pre-travel testing protocols before departing their home state. The percentage of visitors who said they had pre-arrival difficulties also remained relatively unchanged; however, more people appeared to have challenges with Hawaiʻi’s Safe Travels website (29% in June vs. 17% in March vs. 9% in Dec/Jan).

More than half (56%) of respondents said they will visit Hawaiʻi again regardless of the pre-visit requirements, 23% said they will visit again when the pandemic is over, 11% said they will visit when there is no quarantine or testing required, and 10% said they have no plans to return to Hawaiʻi.


HTA’s Tourism Research Division contracted Anthology Research to conduct the online survey between June 2 and June 8, 2021, as part of the contract for the Visitor Satisfaction and Activity Study. The results of the June 2021 Visitor COVID-19 Study were presented during HTA’s Board of Directors meeting on June 24.

The results of all three visitor COVID-19 special studies are available on HTA’s website:


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