February 28, 2022
January 2022 statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) for the island of Kauai reveal a 25 percent drop in visitors compared to pre-pandemic January 2020 (84,828 in January 2022 vs 113,796 in January 2020). With the decrease in visitors, there was a 16.4 percent decrease in visitor spending ($161 million in January 2022 vs $192.7 million in January 2020), reports HTA. Additionally, the average daily number of tourists on the island was down more than 4,000 (25,554 in January 2022 compared to 29,692 in January 2020).
Several factors likely contributed to the decrease in numbers. The Omicron variant of COVID-19 was widespread during January 2022. Moreover, visitors traveling from out-of-state to Kauai were (and still are) subject to a 5-day quarantine unless granted an exception through the State of Hawaii Safe Travels program (negative pre-travel COVID test or record of vaccine). Also, the indoor mask mandate for the State of Hawaii continues to be in effect.
Whether the decrease in numbers is a good thing or a bad thing for Kauai depends on who you ask.
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