What's the travel outlook for 2023?

Christine Hitt

As 2022 wraps up, the data is coming in on how Hawaii’s visitor numbers have recovered since the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest report from the state’s department of business, economic development and tourism states, “Hawaii will welcome 9.3 million visitors in 2022,” which is a visitor recovery of 89.2%, according to Eugene Tian, the department’s chief economist. To be fully recovered, it would mean the total visitors have reached 2019 numbers of 10.4 million.

When looking at the individual regions, it gives a different perspective. 

“The recovery coming from the U.S. market is over 100%; for the Japan market, the recovery by the end of the year is about 12%; for the Canadian market, it’s about 68.3%; and other international is lacking,” Tian said. “In fact, next year in 2023, the U.S. will still be leading the market and will be more than 2022 and it will be a new historical high.”

The department has already forecasted that the recovery rate will be 94.5% in 2023 and 98.3% in 2024, based on the number of air seats available and the shape of the economy. Hawaii’s visitor numbers will be fully recovered in 2025.

“In general, we will still be seeing the historical arrival of visitors and the spending in nominal terms from the U.S. mainland, and we’ll still be seeing the lagging from the international market, especially from Japan,” Tian said. “But the situation is getting better in 2023.”

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