top of page

Year in review: Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry

By: Liam Thropp

13 December 2020

Diamond Head and Waikiki at night; two Honolulu landmarks which are usually bustling with tourists (Photo by Liam Thropp

Hawaiʻi’s visitor arrivals have plummeted from last year.


Data from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority indicates that this has been a record-low year for the state’s tourism industry. But while the year 2020 comes to an end, there seem to be many things which have caused the industry to stop. Closure of hotels, clubs, and other tourism attractions meant layoffs, which affected thousands of workers statewide.


From a collection of HTA’s monthly “Hawaii Visitor Statistics Reports”, and other sources, this illustrates Hawaiʻi’s 2020 timeline through the state’s tourism industry. Though it does not touch on the last two months of the year, it provides a holistic view for what the future of Hawaiʻ’s tourism holds in 2021.


International and domestic travel was up compared to 2019’s figures before COVID-19. The state’s tourism industry was set up for success.


Hawaiʻi had 51 direct routes in January from multiple airlines to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, with an average of 249,000 daily visitors (Liam Thropp / Made with Great Circle Map).

Fewer visitors arriving has made for less revenue generated, which has greatly impacted the tourism industry. Domestic travel to Hawaiʻi with a negative COVID-19 test wasn't allowed until October, whereas international travel (with the exception of Japan) remains to be re-opened by the stateʻs government.

Data Refers to the access of these flight routes as of the year 2020. There are 31 airports which have direct flights to Honolulu, all which have been reinstated as direct airport origins since October 15. The State of Hawaii is expected to further open up original flight routes in the beginning of 2021.

Designed by Liam Thropp

bottom of page