Still Inspired to Visit Hawaii? 51 % Say That's Important.

Still Inspired to Visit Hawaii? 51% Say That’s Important.

Can Hawaii still inspire visitors? A majority now say that has become essential to travel. A recent report by highly popular Skyscanner pointed to some interesting tidbits. First, “travel remains a top priority as people continue to ring-fence their budgets and invest discretionary spend in leisure trips.” We concur that’s true.

They report that among their 1 billion monthly trip searches, 51% of travelers don’t have a destination or even dates in mind and are first seeking just to be “inspired.”

This is a fascinating look forward at travel insights and destination trends. We found that uniquely interesting, and it seems to speak to Hawaii travel. The concept is one we follow ourselves. We tend to pick destinations based solely on our current inspiration. And sometimes that leads to places outside Hawaii that also have visitor challenges that we can share with you.

Orlando vs. Hawaii?

Skyscanner’s data interestingly did not show Hawaii among its top 10 destinations with their customers. Rather, for U.S. visitors, the only domestic location that popped up in terms of popularity was Orlando, FL.

Travel remains strong. Trips are shorter overall.

Trip length is down for every destination year-on-year according to Skyscanner.

So how does Hawaii fare in terms of inspiring visitors today?

With the multitude of ongoing conversations around Hawaii travel sustainability, over-tourism, and the importance of preserving Hawaii’s unique cultural and environmental aspects, just how is Hawaii doing and can it continue to inspire travelers?

Travel issues in Hawaii.

There are many and they include extreme cost as well as endemic problems like over-tourism, environmental damage, cultural dilution, and inadequate infrastructure, plus recent and future restrictions or regulations put in place to help mitigate these issues. And yet in spite of all this, one thing stand out:

Hawaii’s unique appeal.

Hawaii remains a unique and inspiring destination for many. This can include its natural beauty, cultural heritage, diverse ecosystems, and remaining spirit of Aloha.

Hawaii travelers who have visited before, we invite your comments about changes you’ve seen over time and the impact of recent initiatives.

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16 thoughts on “Still Inspired to Visit Hawaii? 51% Say That’s Important.”

  1. I’ve cancelled my late summer trip to Oahu this year, I’m not coming back till Dec after the upcoming May trip. Decided to go to the Yucatan instead. Going to see some Mayan ruins instead of the urban ruins in Honolulu… Hahah.

    Best Regards

  2. As a concierge of 31 years on Kauai, I think it was a big mistake trying to attract fewer mid-range travelers in lieu of high rollers. I understood the basic idea but we are now alienating a huge amount of repeat visitors who no longer feel welcome. The price gouging by some hotels is not pono or ethical. We need smarter solutions to traffic such as making it mandatory for hotels to provide shuttles for their guests to get to nearby locations.

  3. Honeymoon on Maui. Went to Maui every 5 years. Planning a trip for our 20th this summer. Prices are out of control. It’s heartbreaking, but we can no longer justify the trip. Desperately want to pay respects and enjoy the island. It is out of reach now.

    Planning a trip to Italy instead.

  4. Always such a Catch 22 with tourism and being so reliant on tourism and the money and jobs it brings. They aren’t the jobs we want but better than nothing.
    People who live in Hawaii struggle mightily to make ends meet.
    I think it’s time for the state to make the Kama’Aina versus tourist prices for things official.
    That would really help the locals.

  5. For about the last 15 years we have visited Hawaii for a couple weeks in February/March. Generally the Big Island. I suspect we are not “normal” in our tastes and activities. We are probably also not the type of tourist the government wants as we are not high rollers. We snorkel almost every day with and emphasis on photography. We do quite a bit of birding, again for photography, and also utilize local guides. We shop at the Farmer’s Markets for fresh foods and fresh fish. We eat at only one or two favorite restaurants. The volcano area is inspiring. We will skip next year as we want to return to Costa Rica but plan on coming back.

  6. I so agree with Carl R. My husband and I have visited Hawaii annually for 30 years. There is nothing like Hawaii! We lived in Asia for many years and traveled to all the well-known beach vacation spots including in Australia and New Zealand. We’ve been to South and Central America and Mexico beach resorts. Nothing compares to Hawaii! We are inspired to do trips other than Hawaii, e.g. this January we did a 15-day Panama Canal cruise which was wonderful. However, we gave up our time in Maui to do the cruise, and I really felt sort of heartsick for Maui. We have timeshare in Maui which makes it easier and less expensive. And we’ve never been treated poorly by locals. Thanks BOH for your reporting – love it!

  7. It makes more financial sense to ring-fence retirement and real estate investments and use discretionary income for non-essentials like vacations.

  8. I love Hawaii and it’s people. I lived on Oahu in Waikiki, Punchbowl. Hawaii Kai and Kailua for 23 years. I try to visit my local friends annually but costs are getting prohibitive so any visits are no shorter.

  9. Thank you for addressing the real issues with going to Hawaii, it’s still a wonderful place, but with the increasing prices and concern over both the harm to environment/negative impact of some tourists and the feelings of many of the Hawaiian people there are a lot of other travel destinations with lower prices, fewer issues and equal safety, and native populations who are very glad to have visitors. So the State needs to decide if it wants fewer, richer travelers, who because of the high prices feel more entitled to do as they please, or travelers whose main interest is enjoying the State and preserving or even enhancing it’s beauty and environment. Best of luck!

  10. Headed to Hawaii next week. I and the wife have been coming 2 times or more a year for over a decade.

    Not sure if I’ll ever tire of Oahu. Especially considering we have friends there (and have made a few more friends on our recent trips). Love the hiking, the scenery, the beaches and streams, and the temperate weather.

    This trip we’re taking a different approach. As hotel rooms have reached nosebleed prices, instead of staying in a 3-star hotel like the Kaimana, Lotus, Park Shore, or the like that are now over $400, we’re staying in a STR and will plan on cooking some of our dinners at the condo. We’ll see how this new approach works out.

  11. There is no place like Hawaii…the cultures, people, stunning oceans, welcoming artistic communities, on we go. Having been there many times over the years, we don’t simply wish tp travel to Hawaii, we Long to be there. In spite of challenges in Hawaii, or anywhere for that matter, your travel is what you make of it…not simply what you gain, but more importantly what you give back…awareness, courtesy, recognition and respect of the culture you are in, an inquisitive desire to learn and grow from your experience, in order to share something of value with someone else…somehow, doing so makes the world a little better. Beat of Hawaii has been a priceless resource in doing all of this…we will return (when we can afford it!)

  12. We visited Hawai’i for 15 years with the last ten being stays of 4-6 weeks. During this time we visited Maui, Oahu, Big Island, and Kauai. Our trips were wonderful and we often had family join us as we lived the dream of pleasant and laid back vacation time.
    However, as the “laid back” aspect began to disappear, the costs soared, and the attitude toward visitors intensified, we no longer view Hawai’i as a location we consider when planning trips. It saddens us greatly but it just is not worth it.

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