215,148 Tourists to Maui in May 2021 Spent More than 251,655 Visitors in May 2019
* Updated June 30, 9:12 AM
Tourism to Maui has rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic with 215,148 visitors in May 2021, but the number of tourists is still less than the 251,655 in May 2019, according to preliminary statistics from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority.
However, despite having 36,517 fewer visitors in May 2021 than May 2019, tourist spending on Maui was $409.23 million, an increase of 2.2% from two years ago, the report said.
The average daily census showed there were 58,412 visitors per day on Maui in May 2021, compared to only 956 visitors per day in May 2020, when the early days of the pandemic led to massive shutdowns. The average Maui visitors per day in May 2019 was 60,389.
Through the first five months of 2021, there were 723,536 visitors to Maui, 41% less than the 1,226,608 visitors to Maui in the first five months of 2019. Those visitors spent $1.39 billion in 2021, down 34.5% from the $2.13 billion spent in the first five months of 2019.
For the State of Hawaiʻi in May 2021, 629,681 visitors arrived by air service to the Hawaiian Islands and were primarily domestic travelers from the mainland. They spent about $1.1 billion. To read the full Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority report, click here.
Prior to the pandemic, Hawaiʻi experienced record-level visitor expenditures and arrivals in 2019 and in the first two months of 2020. When compared to 2019, visitor arrivals in May 2021 were down 25.7% from the May 2019 count of 847,396 visitors (air and cruise), and visitor spending decreased 22.2% from the $1.41 billion spent in May 2019.
In May 2021, the State’s Safe Travels program was still underway, with most passengers arriving from out-of-state able to bypass the 10-day self-quarantine with a valid negative COVID-19 prior to departure.
The number of trans-Pacific flights serving the Hawaiian Islands is still lower than pre-pandemic levels. In May 2021, a total of 4,064 trans-Pacific flights and 829,917 seats served the Hawaiian Islands, compared to 5,052 flights and 1,118,421 seats in May 2019. And in May 2021, the CDC still enforced restrictions on cruise ships through a “Conditional Sail Order.”
Hawaiʻi averaged 190,491 visitors per day in May 2021, compared to just 8,323 visitors per day in May 2020 and 228,768 visitors per day in May 2019.
While tourism from the mainland is strong, international visitors to Hawaiʻi are still well below the pre-pandemic numbers.
In May 2021, there were only 1,312 visitors from Japan, more than 100,000 less than in May 2019. Visitors from Japan spent $4.9 million in May 2021 compared to $162.4 million (-97.0%) in May 2019.
Only 564 visitors arrived from Canada in May 2021, compared to 26,424 visitors in May 2019.
There were 15,347 visitors from All Other International Markets. 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. In comparison, there were 109,220 visitors from these international markets in May 2019.
A total of 1,960,796 visitors arrived in the first five months of 2021, down 53.6% from that time period in 2019 when there were more than 4 million tourists.
For the first five months of 2021, total visitor spending was $3.43 billion, which is down 52.6% from the $7.23 billion spent in the first five months of 2019.
- O‘ahu: There were 310,744 visitors to O‘ahu in May 2021, compared to 508,088 visitors in May 2019. Visitor spending was $418.3 million, down 39% from $691.1 million in May 2019. Through the first five months of 2021, there were 925,147 visitors to O‘ahu compared to 2,462,487 visitors (-62.4%) in year-to-date 2019.
- Kaua‘i: There were 73,018 visitors to Kaua‘i in May 2021, compared to 112,106 visitors in May 2019. Through the first five months of 2021, there were 141,392 visitors to Kaua‘i compared to 551,749 visitors (-74.4%) in year-to-date 2019. Total visitor spending for these five months was $233.0 million in 2021, a decrease of 69.6% from the same time period in 2019.
- Hawai‘i Island: There were 103,594 visitors to Hawai‘i Island in May 2021, compared to 139,696 visitors in May 2019. Through the first five months of 2021, there were 349,080 visitors to Hawai‘i Island compared to 716,797 visitors (-51.3%) in year-to-date 2019. For the first five months of 2021, total visitor spending was $558.2 million, down 41.2% from year-to-date 2019.
The monthly visitor statistics from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority are available here.