State: High visitor satisfaction for Hawaiʻi visitors overshadows effects of inflation
High overall visitor satisfaction for Hawaiʻi tourists appears to overshadow the effects of inflation, according to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
The most recent Visitor Satisfaction and Activity Survey released Friday surveyed visitors from the U.S. West, U.S. East, Canada, Japan, Oceania, Korea, and China who visited Hawai‘i from October to December 2022. More than 60% of visitors from all markets indicated they were “very likely” to return to Hawai‘i in the next five years, a news release from state DBEDT said.
Visitor satisfaction is a key performance indicator of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Strategic Plan, along with resident satisfaction, average daily visitor spending and total visitor spending.
Hawai‘i’s largest major market area, the U.S. West, saw 80.6% of visitors indicating an interest in returning, followed by 77.8% of those from Korea, 67.1% from Canada, 64.7% from the U.S. East and 61.6% from Oceania.
Those from the U.S. West and U.S. East who traveled in smaller parties were more likely to return, as were more affluent visitors from the U.S. West.
Repeat visitors from the U.S. West, U.S. East, Oceania and Canada expressed a greater likelihood of returning to the state than first-time visitors.
The biggest barrier to returning to Hawai‘i in the next five years for all markets surveyed continued to be the high cost of a vacation in the state.
John De Fries, HTA president and CEO, hailed the survey results.
“Visitors’ expressed interest in returning to Hawai‘i speaks to the quality experience provided by our industry and community partners, and the individuals who engage with travelers throughout the state,” he said in the release. “We continue to educate visitors about how to travel mindfully including ways they can support local businesses, preserve our islands’ natural and cultural resources, and make meaningful connections.”
Overall satisfaction levels among visitors from all markets surveyed remained consistently high throughout 2022, rivaling pre-pandemic levels. Visitors rating their most recent trip to Hawai‘i as “excellent” included U.S. West (87.5%), U.S. East (88.7%), Canada (79.5%), Japan (79.5%), Oceania (75.2%) and Korea (85.5%).
To view the full survey, visit the state DBEDT website.