Nearly nine out of every 10 visitors to Hawaii are fully vaccinated, and most are giving their Aloha State vacations high marks despite busy restaurants and attractions, according to a recent survey from the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
The survey, conducted among travelers from the U.S. mainland to Hawaii from May 15 to May 24, found 89% of all visitors reported being fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
The HTA’s has been conducting regular special tracking surveys since December to gauge the visitor experience during the pandemic and assess the performance of the state’s Safe Travels program for Covid-19 testing. This is the third visitor survey in the series.
In the May survey, 76% of visitors rated their trip “excellent,” which is a decline from 82% in March and 85% in December. A combined 5% of travelers answering the survey said their trip was “below average” or “terrible,” up slightly from 4% in both the December and March surveys. The most common negative aspect of the trip cited by survey respondents was limited capacity or availability of restaurants and attractions; 30% of respondents cited it.
The combination of growing visitor numbers and ongoing restrictions on restaurant and venue capacity has led to high demand for dinner reservations and ticketed attractions. Tourism officials from across the state are recommending that visitors plan well in advance for top attractions, including Pearl Harbor, the Polynesian Cultural Center, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Kualoa Ranch, and Haleakala National Park, and recommend booking as soon as possible for any high-priority activity or dining experience on a Hawaii visitor’s itinerary.
As visitor numbers have rebounded in Hawaii, the percentage of travelers who said they are “very likely” to recommend the Aloha State as a place to visit in the next six months has declined, starting at 86% in December and dropping to 64% in May. In December 2020, 235,793 visitors arrived in the islands, compared with 484,071 in April, the most recent month for which the state has released statistics.
The HTA said it is keeping an eye on the declining satisfaction numbers. The group recently conducted a media blitz and other outreach where representatives from the HTA and every island chapter conducted virtual meetings on what’s happening in Hawaii, and the HTA emphasized that travelers and their advisors should be booking hotels, rental cars and attractions as soon as they know their dates and plans in order to assure their satisfaction.
While social distancing and other Covid-19 restrictions remained in place in May, 82% of visitors surveyed said they were able to do all or most of the activities they had planned.
The results of all three visitor Covid-19 special studies are available on HTA’s website:
May 2021: www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/media/7437/hta_visitor_covid_jun21-r6.pdf
March 2021: https://hawaiitourismauthority.org/media/7029/visitor-covid-19-study-march-2021.pdf
Dec. 2020: https://hawaiitourismauthority.org/media/6415/hta-visitor-covid-19-study.pdf
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