September 30, 2022

Happy Travel & Tour

Specialists Travel & Tours

Why these tourists say they won’t return to Hawaii

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Overall satisfaction among Hawaii visitors has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, according to a state-commissioned survey released this month. Those surveyed rated their most recent trip as “excellent,” with first-time visitors being more satisfied than repeat visitors.

However, despite the slight increase in overall satisfaction in the first quarter of the year, there were fewer visitors who said they would return to Hawaii within the next five years.

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According to the survey, the high cost of a Hawaiian vacation was the top reason cited among visitors who said it would be unlikely for them to come back. There was a decline this year compared to the 2021 survey.

For visitors from the U.S. West, there was a 4.1% decline in willingness to return, and for those from the U.S. East, there was a 6.6% decline. However, 74.7% of visitors from Canada said they would return in the near future — they weren’t surveyed last year to compare numbers.

TOP REASONS VISITORS FROM THE U.S. WEST ARE UNLIKELY TO RETURN TO HAWAII

Q1 2022 Preliminary Data

  • 53.1% — Too expensive
  • 27.7% — Want to go someplace new
  • 21.2% — Poor value
  • 21% — COVID-19
  • 17.7% — Too crowded / congested
  • 15% — Too commercialized / overdeveloped
  • 12.4% — Five years is too soon to revisit
  • 11.8% — Flight is too long
  • 11.8% — No compelling reason to return

Q1 2021 Preliminary Data

  • 30.9% — COVID-19
  • 28.7% — Too expensive
  • 26.6% — Unfriendly people / felt unwelcome
  • 24.7% — Want to go someplace new
  • 17.5% — Poor value
  • 10.7% — No compelling reason to return
  • 10.2% — Too commercialized / overdeveloped

TOP REASONS VISITORS FROM THE U.S. EAST ARE UNLIKELY TO RETURN TO HAWAII

Q1 2022 Preliminary Data

  • 48.8% — Too expensive
  • 42.7% — Want to go someplace new
  • 42.7% — Flight too long
  • 21.6% — Poor value
  • 16.1% — Five years is too soon
  • 14.1% — Too crowded / congested
  • 11.6% — Too commercialized / overdeveloped
  • 11.1% — Other financial obligations

Q1 2021 Preliminary Data

  • 38% — Too expensive
  • 24.8% — Flight is too long
  • 23.6% — COVID-19
  • 20.7% — Want to go someplace new
  • 18% — Poor value
  • 17.8% — Unfriendly people / Felt unwelcome
  • 13.9% — Poor service
  • 13.2% — Other financial obligations
  • 10.4% — Five years is too soon
  • 10.2% — No compelling reason to return

More than half of visitors from each market (U.S. West, U.S. East and Canada) dined at a family-style restaurant, and nearly half enjoyed fine dining. About 42% of visitors ordered from a food truck, and roughly half went to a coffee shop. Almost half of visitors bought Hawaii-made products.

Below are some of the highlights from the Q1 2022 Visitor Satisfaction and Activity Survey (VSAT) released by the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT):

  • Visitors who rated their most recent trip to Hawaii as “excellent” including 87.7% from the U.S. West, 89.2% from the U.S. East and 86.6% from Canada.
  • Of the visitors who said their latest trip “exceeded expectations,” 47.9% were from the U.S. West, 57.1% were from the U.S. East and 46.2% were Canadian visitors.
  • For all three markets, first-time visitors were more satisfied than repeat visitors, and satisfaction was highest among younger travelers — those under 35.
  • 9 out of 10 visitors surveyed would “very likely” recommend Hawaii as a vacation destination.
  • As for popular activities, 90% of visitors from each market enjoyed the beach, followed by swimming.
  • Half of the visitors went hiking during their stay, and at least a third went to a park or botanical garden.

Here’s the breakdown of the two sampled visitor markets outside of Canada:

  • U.S. West — Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
  • U.S. East — All other states in the Continental U.S.

Eight visitor markets are typically analyzed, but due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, visitors from Japan, Oceania, Korea, China and Europe were not surveyed.

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A total of 3,832 visitors were surveyed between Jan. 1, 2022 and April 30, 2022.

Click here for the full results.