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Tourism industry continues to improve but it has not returned to pre-pandemic levels

AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File

Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry continues to improve but it hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Visitors spent $1.3 billion in February. That’s three times what they spent in the same month last year — according to the latest visitor figures from the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

But it’s still 10% below February 2020, right before COVID-19 travel restrictions went into effect in Hawaiʻi.

More than 630,000 visitors arrived last month, down from nearly 824,000 in February 2020.

Nearly 7,000 arrived via cruise ship. But most arrived by air, and 90% came from domestic markets.

While visitor numbers lagged, daily spending was up to $221 a person. That’s a 9% increase from 2020.

“We expect Hawai'i to continue with this forward momentum, especially spring then into summer, because of the arrival of Japanese visitors and other international markets," said DBEDT Director Mike McCartney in a statement.

Jason Ubay is the managing editor at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Send your story ideas to him at jubay@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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