Getting international travelers back is key to Hawaii’s recovery

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Economic experts predict that Hawaii’s efforts to welcome international visitors again will have a huge impact on the state’s financial recovery.

But arrivals will not skyrocket overnight.

University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization executive director Carl Bonham said that in 2019, international travelers accounted for about a third of the $ 17 billion in tourism revenue.

That income has evaporated over the past year and a half.

While the state’s full recovery from a pandemic will still take years, reopening Hawaii to foreign travelers is a major boost, especially as they tend to spend more throughout their journey. stay.

“We really need these international visitors not only to fill this puka, but also because they spend more and that’s really what matters? Bonham said. “Visitors come here and they spend money and they spend it on a variety of different types of activities.”

While Japan is not expected to end its two-week quarantine for returning residents, next month’s Honolulu Marathon still awaits thousands of Japanese runners willing to accept quarantine in exchange for the opportunity.

The marathon typically generates $ 130 million in visitor spending each year.

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