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Hawai‘i rates highly on safety and security according to Visitor Satisfaction and Activity Survey

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Makua, or Tunnels, on the North Shore of Kaua‘i. Photo Courtesy: Big 7 Travel

Most visitors see Hawai‘i as a safe and secure destination, according to the latest Visitor Satisfaction and Activity Survey, which surveyed visitors from the United States, Canada, Japan, Oceania, Korea and China who visited Hawai‘i in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism recently released the results of its Q4 2023 survey, which found that at least 95% of visitors from each geographic region rated the Hawaiian Islands as having met or exceeded their expectations. The majority of visitors said they are very likely to recommend Hawai‘i to their friends and relatives.

Overall satisfaction levels among visitors from all markets surveyed remained high, with 89.6% of visitors from the U.S. East and Canada rating their most recent trip to Hawai‘i as “excellent,” followed by 87.5% from the U.S. West, 83.9% from Korea, 78.6% from Japan and 78.5% from Oceania. First-time visitors from Japan gave higher mean scores than repeat visitors from this region.


More than 90% of visitors from all markets rated Hawai‘i as “excellent” or “above average” when it comes to being a safe and secure destination, including 99.0% from Canada, 97.8% from the U.S. East and 97.8% from the U.S. West.

“I have always believed, in every position that I have held, that ensuring the safety and security of our residents and visitors is a top priority,” said Hawai‘i Tourism Authority Board Chair Mufi Hannemann. “Hawaiʻi’s aloha spirit and commitment to public safety reinforces our reputation as a safe and welcoming destination for travelers from around the globe.”

Hannemann also credited the Safe & Sound Waikīkī program for reducing crimes reported in the Waikīkī area over the past year and a half since its inception and underscoring the importance of continued collaboration among various stakeholders.


“The positive feedback from visitors underscores the efforts of everyone involved in the tourism sector to ensure that travelers feel safe throughout Hawai‘i,” said Daniel Nāho‘opi‘i, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s interim president and CEO. “We extend heartfelt gratitude to our industry partners for their dedication and passion to uphold the Hawaiian Islands as a premier travel destination. Collectively with the community, we continue to shape unforgettable experiences that resonate with visitors long after they have returned home.”

Of those surveyed, at least 58% of visitors from all markets indicated they were “very likely” to return to the state of Hawai‘i in the next five years, with the U.S. West, Hawai‘i’s largest major market area, leading the way at 82.6%. Nearly three-quarters (73.5%) of visitors from Korea, followed by 65.4 % of visitors from the U.S. East and 58.6 % of visitors from Japan, said they are likely to return in the near future.

Similar to previous quarters, all markets surveyed cited Hawai‘i’s high vacation costs as the biggest barrier to returning in the next five years.


The latest survey results also showed that the experience on Maui among visitors from the U.S. and Canada improved since the devastating August 2023 wildfires in Lahaina. The percentage of visitors to Maui who rated their trip “excellent” increased to 87.8% among visitors from the U.S. West, 89.3% from the U.S. East and 90.8% from Canada. Additionally, the percentage of visitors from these markets who said they are “very likely” to return to Maui in the next five years increased among the U.S. West (75.5%), U.S. East (62.1%) and Canada (67.5%). 

Visitors from all markets who went to Maui cited famous landmarks or imagery and natural beauty as their primary motivation to visit, followed by outdoor or sporting activities, and events.

The Visitor Satisfaction and Activity Survey is an ongoing survey of visitors from key visitor markets who recently completed a trip to the Hawaiian Islands. The sampled visitor markets for Q4 2023 were: The U.S. West (Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming), the U.S. East (all other states in the Continental U.S.), Canada, Japan, Oceania, Korea and China.

The full results from the Q4 2023 Visitor Satisfaction and Activity Survey are available online at: www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/research/visitor-satisfaction-and-activity/.


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