Fascinating Insights We Received On What's Coming Next For Hawaii Travel

What’s Coming Next For Hawaii Travel May Surprise You

A report from well-known travel data firm Destination Analysts was disseminated to us by the state of Hawaii late today. “The State of the American Traveler” provides insights into what’s ahead for Hawaii travel. See if you agree that we travel as much as ever but are more focused on costs.

The findings from Destination Analysts was based on traveler data collected last month from 4,000 people.

“Even with tighter budgets, Americans don’t appear to be sacrificing their travel. Instead, many anticipate spending differently on their trips, making compromises on food and dining experiences and shopping purchases over shortening trip days or even scrimping on lodging.” — Destination Analysts.

Are people really visiting Hawaii with a $3,787 annual travel budget?

We aren’t sure about this, but the report says, “Expected travel budgets for the next year are currently averaging $3,787. While an increase compared to May’s ten-month low of $3,719, it still remains far below the $4,318 average of the first four months of 2023.”

“With the cost of Hawaii accommodations, dining, and airfare at all-time highs, we are still determining how this even applies to Hawaii vacations. It isn’t that it can’t be done, but it is just unlikely for a Hawaii vacation to fit into this annual budgetary amount.” — BOH.

The point is that even with the concerns about the US economy and high travel costs, most Americans are determined to keep traveling no matter what. The report says that the average number of vacations in the next year is reported to be 3.4, which is a 3-year high.

Economy paradigm returns post revenge travel.

Destination Analysts report that those who said they would travel within the next 3 months indicate, by a 60% majority, that they will compromise on some parts of their trip to save money. That’s precisely why we wrote about Nico’s Restaurant in Honolulu yesterday. A telltale sign is that just 16% of those surveyed said that economizing in any way on their vacation would be unlikely.

A better financial outlook ahead? Visitors are “cautiously optimistic.”

Travel analysts said that the expectation of recession is lower than in their last survey from May. At the same time, those who say they will be careful due to economic concerns are down somewhat, from 62.6% to 60.5%.

Visitors become accustomed to higher travel costs.

Our take is that visitors are becoming somewhat accustomed to ridiculously high travel costs. The report states that concerns about too-expensive costs have dropped from 37% to 32.8% since May, with airfare concerns also coming down from 28.9% to 25.2%. Overall, they report that those who were deterred from traveling dropped.

What are you willing to give up on your Hawaii vacation?

Since we don’t as a country appear poised to curtail travel, and that includes Hawaii travel in particular as far as we’re concerned. Of those surveyed, 48.9% said they’d compromise on food/dining, while 42.1 said they’d curtail shopping while traveling. And another 36% said they’d take shorter vacations, while only 29.5% said they’d scrip on accommodations. Fascinating! Regarding how visitors might save on food, 46.7% said it would be done through preparing their meals and snacks, and about an equal number said they’d do it via more budget restaurant choices.


Leave a Comment

Comment policy:
* No profanity, rudeness, personal attacks, or bullying.
* Hawaii focused only. General comments won't be published.
* No links or UPPER CASE text. English please.
* No duplicate posts or using multiple names.
* Use a real first name, last initial.
* Comments edited/published/responded to at our discretion.
* Beat of Hawaii has no relationship with our commentors.
* 1,000 character limit.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

21 thoughts on “What’s Coming Next For Hawaii Travel May Surprise You”

  1. I was born and raised in Oahu in the 50’s 60’s & 70’s; I can’t think of a better place to be a child growing up in Paradice. both my parents worked two jobs, and we were middle class, by estimation. however, it wasn’t till I was drafted during the Vietnam War era, that I realized just how expensive Hawaii was. I’ve since left the islands for jobs and better pay. at hotel rates in the thousands for a one-night stay for most hotels, plus the car rental, and food, I’m lucky if I could afford a three-night stay. that’s so very sad when I truly miss my Aina.

  2. My wife and I have been Hawaii on multiple trips. The last trip I tried to plan, would cost just under 10k. Rental vehicles were costing $250.00 a day and up. The trip was for six days. Airfare wasn’t bad, but accomodations was pricey. I now try to look at other destinations. Prices in Hawaii are now out of reach for my wife and I

  3. I’ve definitely had to make changes in my Hawaii travel plans. We opted for six days instead of a week, rented an economy car instead of a convertible, and will be staying in 2-star accommodations where we’ll have access to kitchens for preparing our own food. We even chose lodging in areas with lower room taxes.

    1. Tami,

      I find 2-star too ri9sky. I always stay at 3 star or higher. And, that’s what I reserve for my employees when they travel; 3-star.

      In the past, say, 30 years, I’ve missed one annual trip: once after major surgery and one of the COVID years.


  4. Another way to save on Hawaiian travel costs is to travel there less frequently.
    20 years ago, we went to Hawaii only about once every five years. Beginning about seven years ago, we began going every year. That can easily be changed so that when we do go, we won’t need to pinch pennies so hard. That said, since the end of COVID, I do believe that hotels have engaged in opportunistic price gouging.
    That could change too.

  5. Just got back from 6 nights at Ko Olina and 2 nights at Waikiki Marriott. First trip to Oahu, so we did Arizona Memorial, Mighty Mo and Diamond Head in addition to the beaches at Waikiki and Kailua. We also did the Polynesian Cultural Center and Kahaluu Ranch with boat tour. My favorite spot was Waimea Falls and getting Dole Whip at the Dole Plantation on the way back. I look forward to exploring more sites on the next trip but would do Diamond Head and Waimea again for sure. Expensive, yes very expensive, but worth it. Golf at Ko Olina was fantastic too.

  6. How do you spell
    “Caribbean”? There is no way I will spend premium dollars on a substandard experience in Hawaii. It certainly appears that the citizens of Hawaii really don’t appreciate our business – excessive room rates, parking fees everywhere, premium prices on food and liquor in restaurants and expensive flights to the islands.
    Last January, I was able to get a balcony cabin amidships on Princess for 2 for $1600. I am exploring all-inclusive resorts in Cancun, Cozumel and Aruba for this winter and it’s closer than Hawaii by half. No, Hawaii, you will not seem dollars until you get it under control and, to be honest, I do not see that happening.
    No sugar for years
    No pineapple for years
    Military dollars limited to Oahu
    Looking for a handout from the mainland in 5 years, very likely.

  7. Hello!

    I will be doing 2 things to defray costs:

    1. Less rental car spend. It’s tough, but not impossible, to take mass transit or rideshare (or walk!) whenever possible. If I need a car for 1 or 2 days for excursions, I will rent from the hotel or local office, Not the airport. Often this is cheaper and you save on overnight parking fees. In other words… just because you’re in Hawaii for 7 days, do you NEED 7 days of car? See if you can manage with 2 or 3 days instead!

    2. Ask Hotel for Club Lounge upgrade. Sometimes it’s just an extra $100 per night, but the “free” breakfast, waters, sodas, and evening appetizers, cheap booze and desserts, cookies, etc. will pay for itself fast, especially with kids! Save your money for a fun local lunch e.g. Nico’s or splurge on 1 or 2 dinners off-property while filling up on the food provided in the Club.


    Rob R. from San Diego

  8. Hello BOH,

    I’ll be visiting Kauai again for 2 1/2 weeks in September/October and I sacrifice on breakfast, except for a Sunday brunch.

    I grab a bunch of oatmeal at Foodland, maybe some Portuguese sausage, and I’m pretty good until lunch. It’s not so much the cost as it is the time to go out for breakfast when I really just want to get outside and enjoy the beauty of the island.

    Other than that got a corporate discount on my rental car, and five nights will be hopefully spent camping in Kalalau (permits in hand), so saved on lodging there, and used points for my hotel during the first leg of my trip.

  9. Chiming in from Seattle. As islanders know, there is usually a huge influx of us to Hawaii in the late winter/early spring when we just can’t take the cold, rain, and gloom anymore. It even has a name: The Great Seattle Airlift.

    This year was different. In doing research for a trip this past March, we found that prices for everything from airfare to hotels to car rentals were insane – sometimes four or five times what we paid just a couple of years ago. For example, a three-star hotel in Kahului that is nowhere near a beach went from under $200/night to more than $600/night. A car rental that was $250/week in 2019 was nearly $1,200/week. So we looked at other options and settled on Puerto Vallarta instead. We enjoyed ourselves there just as much, and for less than we would have spent to go to Hawaii.

    Another factor for us in choosing Mexico over Hawaii: when we last visited the Big Island in the fall of 2021, the vibe was completely different. Instead of the warm and friendly Aloha spirit, it seemed the locals didn’t want us there. Only fair to downright poor service, not to mention the cold shoulder at beaches and other attractions.

    Friends and co-workers we’ve talked to here say much the same: Hawaii has gotten way too expensive, and way less welcoming, since the end of the pandemic. We’ve all been exploring other destinations for our dose of sun and sand, including the aforementioned Mexico, as well as Florida, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Tahiti, and Belize.

    Looking ahead to next spring, prices in Hawaii don’t look to be coming down much if at all. So, my husband and I will be off to the east coast of Mexico this time, probably the Tulum/Playa del Carmen area. We may come back to Hawaii someday, but it won’t be soon.

    1. Corbin,

      I think it starts at the top – attitudes that is. THe govt has been sending out the vibe that only the rich should come. I think they will be happy to wait for the high spenders from Asia. But, those folks may be going to Guam.

      In any case, it is my opinion that a tourist location needs low, middle and high spenders to be balanced and successful.

      Time will tell.


  10. If you check Hawaii’s tourism numbers all islands are running slightly lower then last year except Oahu who’s daily numbers are higher. Kauai has shown the largest drop off it’s currently running below 2019 numbers. Which backs Kauaidoug’s comments, where’s the surge?

  11. We are still travelling to Hawaii annually. We eat out a lot less and make our own meals. We may only do one activity (race, tour, etc.) in 2 weeks due to rising costs, if we do one at all. We spend more time walking, reading, and just relaxing.
    We are recently retired so now we have the time to be able to plan farther out. We are also doing a lot of research of trying to travel at low season when prices are better, use Discount Hawaii Car Rental to find the best rate, and have considered not renting a car at all, and we watch for air fare sales.
    So we still go as much as we have been but are and spending less than we did in the past.

  12. Aloha, editors. I am either in the Waimea Canyon state park or Kauai’s North Shore at least 5 times a month and I can tell you I’m still waiting on the usual summer influx of visitors. I actually got a parking place at black pot beach in the middle of the day! I kept thinking the crowds will surely start after July 4 but no.
    Americans are going places they couldn’t for the last 3 years but I am confident people will be back. I said it I before and il say it again. Kaua’i needs the world and the world needs Kaua’i! Prices in Hawaii will moderate by next year and we’ll all be happier. Aloha

    1. Hi kauaidoug.

      Thanks for that update. Traveling around the state a great deal this summer, we’re finding the crowds to be less consistent and more intermittent. Things are changing.


  13. Went to Kona in May and I’ll just say the best food we had was cooked in our condo and 3 out of the 4 times we ate out was a huge expensive disappointment. Stop at a grocery store, fresh fish market, farmers market and you’ll be better off!

  14. I just told my wife we would have to cut back on food during our upcoming 16-day September vacation to Waikiki. She reminded me that we eat a lot in our room. So I told her no more ABC; we’ll have to buy food at a real grocery store. She reminded me that she only buys milk and precooked spaghetti meals at ABC. She reminded me that those $9 or $10 items last me for 2 meals.

    So, the only place we will be looking for savings is car rental!


  15. With high airfare prices, our trips back and forth to the mainland have been reduced from once a month to once a quarter. Fares that were $350 to Phoenix/Texas round trip are now over $1,000. So same spending, but reduced travel for us.

  16. An article in today’s (7/18/23) WSJ regarding the decreasing affluence in Europe could have an impact on Hawaii visitors. Two aspects, first is that there will probably be fewer visitors from Europe, as their economies continue to slide toward (or are already in) recession and citizens are experiencing continued high inflation. Secondly, the Euro and Pound will probably become cheaper. This will make European costs more affordable for those paying in US dollars, and the tourist industry may be lowering charges for hotels, cars, etc. as they seek to increase occupancy/business from US tourists.

    Hawaii tourist industry might want to take note of the competition for mainland visitors!

    We’ve been visiting Kauai annually for nearly all of the last 30 years, and hope to continue to our favorite destination.

    Gary, not Kitty

Scroll to Top