We are at the time of summer when we expect visitor arrival numbers to wane. That’s traditional. But based on the numbers and what we see here on the ground, that just isn’t happening.
Hawaii travel usually starts to hit its summer peak in mid-June. It gets even busier as we approach July 4 and stays very busy until August 1. After that, arrival numbers decline consistently until the Christmas and New Year holidays. But not this year.
Arrivals are up 10% in late summer compared with 2019.
For the past eleven days, since August 1, in this late summer period, domestic arrivals were 321,613 compared with 292,165 in 2019. That seems very unusual to us, given the economic climate and the fact that people have been vacationing domestically and internationally.
So what is going on?
1 . Pent-up demand hasn’t yet been fulfilled. While many people traveled to Hawaii through Covid or have already made up lost time this year, others still have been waiting for their chance to enjoy a long-awaited Hawaii vacation.
2. Airfares are low. Mainland to Hawaii flights from the typical west coast gateways are relatively cheap. Even last-minute August flights to Hawaii are available for as little as about $300 round-trip, including all taxes and fees. Then, starting next month, those will drop on average another $100. Yikes.
3. Hawaii remains an easy-to-access, domestic, yet tropical vacation.
Why are late summer and fall so popular for Hawaii vacations?
Best weather of the entire year. While Hawaii is known for great weather year-round, late summer and fall are a secret find in terms of balmy warm days and slightly cooler than summer nights.
Ocean conditions also tend to be most wonderful at this time of year. North shores still most feature swimmable conditions while south shores have waves. Have you gone for a swim at Hanalei Bay Kauai recently? We can tell you conditions are idyllic.