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What will it take for Japanese visitors to return to Hawaiʻi?

japanese tourists kona airport aug 2 2022 JAL
Erin Khan
Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority
Passengers on Japan Airlines flight 177 arrive at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022.

Travelers returned to Hawaiʻi in large numbers this summer — with one major exception: those coming from Japan. In July, about 4% of the state’s overall arrivals came from Japan. Usually, Japanese people make up about 20% of visitors. When will those numbers improve?

Local business consultant Ray Tsuchiyama watches the Japanese visitor market. He’s worked with clients in the hospitality industry, and he’s also lived and worked in Japan. HPR’s Bill Dorman posed a question that many in the hospitality industry are asking: What will it take for Japanese visitors to return to Hawaiʻi in greater numbers than they have so far?

This interview aired on The Conversation on Sept. 12, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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