Maui Business

Survey: Hawaiʻi ranks high among visitors for safety, giving back

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Visitor Satisfaction Survey Q1 2023. DBEDT / HTA / Anthology Research

An overwhelming majority of visitors ranked Hawai‘i as a safe and secure destination and ideal for volunteering and giving back, according to the results of a survey conducted by the State of Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism during the first quarter of 2023. 

The Visitor Satisfaction and Activity Survey found that at least 5% of visitors from each major market area – US West, U.S. East, Canada, Japan, Oceania, Korea, and China – rated Hawai‘i as “excellent” or “above average” when it comes to being safe and secure. 

In addition, the vast majority of visitors surveyed from the major market areas ranked Hawai‘i as either “excellent” or “above average” for providing opportunities to volunteer and give back. This included 93% of visitors from US West, Hawai‘i’s largest major market area, 94.6% from US East, the second-largest major market area, 94.9% from Korea, 91.4% from Canada, 89.4% from Oceania, and 80.7% from Japan. 

Visitor Satisfaction Survey Q1 2023. DBEDT / HTA / Anthology Research

Hawai‘i Tourism Authority President and CEO John De Fries said the credit for visitors responding so favorably to their vacation experience in Hawai‘i can be attributed to the hospitality of local residents, statewide.

“Clearly, the overriding message that is reflected in these survey results is that the people of Hawai‘i, from our tourism professionals to the kama‘āina who engage with visitors on a daily basis, are the reasons why Hawai‘i continues to be such a favorite destination for travelers from around the world,” said De Fries in an HTA press release.

Overall satisfaction levels among visitors surveyed from all major market areas were outstanding, with 88.8% from US East rating their most recent trip to Hawai‘i as “excellent,” followed by 88.1% from US West, 85.5% from Korea, 85.3% from Canada, 78.4% from Japan, and 73.6% from Oceania.


In addition, more than 90% of visitors surveyed from each major market area responded that Hawai‘i exceeded or met their expectations, with 96.8% from US West, 96.6% from US East, 91.9% from Japan, 97.1% from Canada, 92.5% from Oceania, and 95.7% from Korea. Younger respondents (18-34 years old) from US West, US East and Canada were more likely to say their trip exceeded expectations compared to visitors from these markets in other age groups.

Agreement with this sentiment tended to decline with age.

Hawai‘i also scored extremely well with visitors surveyed in all markets in the category of environmentally friendly/sustainable ranking as “excellent” or “above average with 96.3% from US West, 97.8% from US East, 93.2% from Japan, 89.5% from Canada, 90.3% from Oceania, and 95.7% from Korea. 


Hawai‘i’s appeal for attracting repeat travelers continues to be strong. More than 60% of visitors surveyed from all markets indicated they were “very likely” to return to Hawai‘i in the next five years, with 81.2% from US West, 65.2% from US East, 82.3% from Japan, 66.4% from Canada, 61.1% from Oceania, and 70.6% from Korea.

Repeat visitors from US West, US East, Japan, and Canada expressed a greater likelihood of returning to the state than first-time visitors, and women from the US West expressed a stronger likelihood than men. 

The VSAT is an ongoing survey of visitors from key visitor markets who recently completed a trip to Hawai‘i.

DBEDT’s Tourism Research Branch contracted Anthology Research to conduct the survey. Data were collected between Jan. 12, 2023, and April 11, 2023, among 4,742 visitors who traveled to Hawai‘i during Q1 2023.

The full results from the first quarter 2023 VSAT report are available online.


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