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Hawaiian Tourism Decimated by Covid-19

by Peter Stringer
Na Pali coast, Kauai, Hawaii

Aerial landscape view of shoreline at Na Pali coast, Kauai, Hawaii, USA. Stock photo by martinm303/Envato Elements

A typical August would bring over 35,000 travelers to the Hawaiian Islands by airplane. In 2020, that number has declined dramatically due to the impact of Covid-19.

According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, on Saturday, August 22, just 1,839 people arrived by airplane in Hawaii, while under normal circumstances, the daily number of arrivals is typically about 35,000. The effects of Covid-19 have been well documented, heavily impacting air travel across the United States as well as internationally.

Visitor arrivals to Hawaii were down 98 percent year over year in June of 2020.

The issue is compounded by Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day quarantine rules for arriving travelers, which went into effect on March 26. Violating the order carries a potential fine of up to $5,000 and/or a year imprisonment.

Hawaii’s self-quarantine rules are incredibly stringent, which has discouraged almost all tourism to the Islands. Per the Hawaii Tourism Authority:

You must stay in your visitor lodging/home to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 to other people. This means:

  • Do not use shared facilities such as pools, spas, gyms, restaurants, or bars
  • You may not rent a car, whether through a rental car company, online service or through a peer-to-peer platform or car-sharing service
  • Ask someone to drop off food and other necessities at your front door or order room service.
  • Do not go to public places such as the beach, work, school, shopping centers, childcare, or local attractions
  • Do not let visitors in—only people who usually live with you should be in your home

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