Hawaii Visitor & Traveler Data
If it's Hawaii tourism data you're looking for, then you're in the right place. We'll cover the latest tourism trends (within the last 1-3 years) on the Hawaiian islands and provide a series of graphics and summarized data to give you a good idea of what's happening by the numbers.
The adjacent graph shows the Total ARRIVAL Data in 2022 to each island (including multi-destination/island arrivals). You can also view our historical 2018 data graph, 2016 data graph, and 2006 data graph for comparison. A pie chart is not truly the best format to display the visitor totals for the various islands as the number of visitors shown in the chart is greater than the true total, as many visitors go to more than one island. However, for our purposes, it should give you an idea of how many visitors (percentage-wise) are arriving/visiting each island. Just keep in mind the actual arrival numbers are "inflated" a bit. A more accurate way to look at this is 'Visitor Days,' per island, but these percentages seen here provide an accurate overview of each island's visitation.
Latest DBEDT Tourism Updates
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism - Monthly Summary
October 2023 Update
In October 2023, Hawaii continued to see a decline in both visitor arrivals and spending compared to 2022, marking the third consecutive month of downturn following the Lahaina wildfires.
Visitor Arrivals and Spending: October 2023 saw 734,582 visitors, a 3.2% decrease from October 2022, but a 92.3% recovery compared to pre-pandemic October 2019. Total visitor spending was $1.51 billion, down from $1.54 billion in October 2022 but up from $1.33 billion in October 2019.
Source of Visitors: The majority of visitors arrived by air service, primarily from the U.S. West and U.S. East. The U.S. West contributed 362,258 visitors, a decrease from 2022 but an increase from 2019. U.S. East saw a decline in arrivals compared to 2022 but an increase from 2019. Visitors from Japan increased significantly from 2022 but were much lower than in 2019. Canadian visitor numbers decreased from both 2022 and 2019.
Numbers by Island:
- Oahu: Received 448,096 visitors, a 14.7% increase from October 2022, with spending reaching $673.3 million, slightly up from the previous year.
- Maui: After the wildfires, visitation dropped to 132,909, a 42.3% decrease from 2022, and spending fell to $326.2 million, down 25.2% from the previous year.
- Kauai: Saw a stable visitor count at 109,337, virtually unchanged from 2022, but spending increased to $233.2 million, a significant rise of 34.1% from the previous year.
- Hawaii Island: Had 133,081 visitors, a 6% decrease from October 2022, with spending of $246.1 million, an 8% increase from the prior year.
September 2023 Update
In September 2023, Hawaii experienced a decrease in both visitor arrivals and spending compared to the same period in 2022, partly due to the aftermath of the Lahaina fires on Maui. The total number of visitors was 651,286, marking a 7.4% decrease from September 2022, yet showing an 88.5% recovery from pre-pandemic levels of September 2019. Total visitor spending was $1.37 billion, a reduction from the $1.52 billion in September 2022 but an increase from September 2019's $1.25 billion.
The majority of visitors arrived by air, predominantly from the U.S. West and East. The U.S. West sent 329,187 visitors, a decrease from 2022 but an increase from 2019. U.S. East saw 153,635 visitors, down from 2022 but up from 2019. Visitors from Japan increased significantly compared to 2022 but were much lower than 2019 numbers. Canadian visitor numbers and spending also decreased compared to 2022 and 2019.
Visitor demographics varied across the islands. Oahu welcomed 433,209 visitors, Maui received 94,221 visitors, significantly impacted by the wildfires, Kauai hosted 115,305 visitors, and Hawaii Island saw 129,444 visitors. Each island exhibited unique trends in visitor arrivals and spending, reflecting diverse attractions and visitor experiences.
August 2023 Update
In August 2023, Hawaii's tourism was notably impacted by the Lahaina wildfires, leading to a 7.3% decrease in total visitor arrivals compared to August 2022. This figure represented an 83.0% recovery from the pre-pandemic levels of August 2019. The total number of visitors was 769,163, with a significant decline in arrivals to Maui due to the wildfires. Visitor spending for the month was $1.58 billion, lower than the $1.74 billion spent in August 2022, but still higher than the $1.50 billion from August 2019.
The majority of visitors, 766,023, arrived by air service, mainly from the U.S. West and U.S. East, with an additional 3,140 coming via a single cruise ship. The average length of stay for all visitors was 8.67 days, slightly less than in August 2022. The statewide average daily census was 215,020 visitors.
Visitor arrivals to different islands varied. Oahu saw an increase in visitors, with 507,702 arrivals. Hawaii Island and Kauai also experienced increases in visitor numbers. In contrast, Maui faced a significant drop in visitor arrivals, with only 112,259 visitors, less than half the volume of August 2022, primarily due to the Lahaina wildfires which led to the cancellation of 88 direct transpacific flights to Kahului.
Visitor demographics from different regions showed mixed trends. The U.S. West sent 392,427 visitors, a decrease from both 2022 and 2019. However, their spending, although lower than in 2022, was higher than in 2019. Visitors from the U.S. East also decreased compared to both 2022 and 2019, but their spending increased from 2019 levels. Visitors from Japan increased dramatically from 2022 but were much lower than 2019 figures. Canadian visitor numbers and spending decreased compared to 2022 and 2019.
There were 103,589 visitors from other international markets, including Oceania, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Guam, the Philippines, and the Pacific Islands. This figure was an increase from 2022 but a decrease from 2019.
July 2023 Update
In July 2023, Hawaii’s tourism showed a positive trend, with 932,713 visitors marking a 1.5% increase from July 2022 and representing a 93.7% recovery from July 2019. Visitor spending reached $2.05 billion, exceeding the figures from both 2022 and 2019. The majority of visitors, 929,386 in total, arrived by air, primarily from the U.S. West and East. The average length of stay for all visitors was 9.06 days.
From the U.S. West, there were 499,029 visitors, a decrease from 2022 but an increase from 2019, with spending of $972.1 million. Visitors from the U.S. East were comparable to 2022 numbers and higher than in 2019, with spending of $628.4 million. Visitor arrivals from Japan saw a significant increase compared to 2022 but were still lower than 2019 figures, with spending of $83.2 million. Canadian visitors slightly exceeded 2019 levels, with a total spend of $68.2 million.
The visitor count from other international markets, including Oceania, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, was 100,912, showing a modest increase from 2022 but a decrease from 2019. Total trans-Pacific flights servicing the islands were slightly fewer than in 2022 and 2019.
For the first seven months of 2023, total visitor spending amounted to $12.83 billion, showing an increase from both 2022 and 2019. Total arrivals during this period were 5,897,424, higher than in 2022 but lower than in 2019.
Island-specific details reveal that Oahu welcomed 528,585 visitors with a spending of $870.7 million. Maui received 293,681 visitors, with spending of $623.4 million. Kauai had 139,771 visitors and a spend of $264.5 million. Hawaii Island saw 171,957 visitors, with a spending of $263.0 million.
Visitor demographics varied, with a significant portion of U.S. West visitors being repeat visitors, and a majority staying in hotels. The first seven months of 2023 saw 3,110,046 visitors from the U.S. West, spending $6.05 billion. The U.S. East contributed 1,563,393 visitors, spending $4.05 billion. From Japan, there were 267,131 visitors, spending $427.5 million, and from Canada, 284,544 visitors, spending $726.2 million.
These statistics reflect a steady recovery in Hawaii’s tourism industry, with significant contributions from various international markets and a strong showing from U.S. visitors.
The tabular chart shown further below gives the breakdown of visitors in the islands on a month by month basis (color coded per island), based on data from 2019 & 2022 visitor reports.
Visitor Days & Visitor Expenditures
In considering the "health" of the tourism market, one must also put emphasis on the two factors that are the most important: "visitor days" and "visitor expenditures."
Mahalo for the tip by 'amberloo' at TripAdvisor. In her words, "If there are more visitor days and more money being spent annually over the long-term, the industry is healthy regardless of any other factors; such as mere arrival totals. The goal of many government planners is to increase "days" and "spending" while limiting (or even decreasing) arrival counts."
Why limit arrival counts you might ask? One has to consider tourism "capacities" of the islands and how that will affect future trends. Maui and O'ahu likely reached their carrying capacity (for visitors) years ago, thus have few remaining competitive development opportunities and will not have the statistical fluctuations or upside growth potentials seen on Kaua'i. In fact, due to growth in recent years, Kaua'i has now about reached its own carrying capacity pending completion of on-going development.
Individual Hawaiian Island Data
These statistics are "arrival" data - meaning visitors who arrived in the islands (either from the mainland US, abroad, or from another island).
When viewing these statistics, we encourage visitors to keep the geographic size of the islands in mind. For example, the Big Island and Kauai have very similar trends in arrivals. However, the Big Island is significantly larger geographically speaking than Kauai (in fact, it is larger than all of the other islands combined) so these visitor numbers alone cannot tell the complete story. Kauai and the Big Island may very well have the exact same number of visitors any given month, but the size of the island will also determine how "crowded" it feels.
Big Island of Hawaii Visitor Data
The largest in the chain typically ranges between 100,000-175,000 arrivals each month. Excluding the summer "hump" felt through all the islands, the number of arrivals fluctuates much less than some other islands in the chain, so visitation is usually about the same in Hawai'i. The events we noted on the best time to travel to Hawaii page, that are held each spring and fall, can increase visitor ratios on the island. The volcanic eruption that began in May 2018 is also to have likely affected arrival numbers for this period.
Maui Visitor Data
The second largest island in the chain typically ranges between 210,000-300,000 arrivals each month. The summer "hump" is by far the largest period of arrivals, but there are also significant spikes at other times during the year, most notably around the Christmas holidays.
Kauai Visitor Data
The fourth largest island in the chain typically ranges between 100,000-140,000 visitors each month. Kauai, in general, is a much quieter island (arrival wise) when compared to the likes of the other islands in the chain. But that may be due to its size and "theme" (all things green). The summer "hump" is the only really busy time on the island, though it's not as distinct as the "hump" Maui and Oahu experience. The 2018 winter and spring storms and subsequent closures on Kauai likely affected visitor arrivals after this period.
Oahu Visitor Data
The third largest island in the chain typically ranges between 450,000-570,000 visitors each month. As you can quickly see, that number quickly dwarfs the other islands arrival data. Oahu is widely popular with visitors abroad, and given that 75% of the state's population lives on this single island, the arrival data can skew accordingly.
Typical Hawaii Visitor Timeline
If you want even more detailed tourism specifications, please visit the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.
Molokai & Lanai Visitor Data
These two islands only make up slightly more than 1% of all visitor arrivals combined. If you're heading to either of these two islands and are curious about this data, we suggest you look at the detailed statistics provided on the Hawaii Tourism Authority website.