WalletHub report says Hawaii tourism hit hardest of all 50 states

A new study of economic, employment and other factors names Hawaii as the U.S. tourism market most vulnerable to damage from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The report, “States Hit Hardest by Covid-19’s Impact on Tourism,” was released April 14 by WalletHub, and uses several metrics to determine the Aloha State could suffer the most due to the fall in travel and tourism.

The rankings include data on GDP generated by tourism, share of employment and businesses that are travel-related, and how aggressive each state’s tactics against the pandemic have been. On a 100-point scale Hawaii scored a 81.38, despite being ranked No. 4 for its measures to arrest the spread of Covid-19 and more than 10 points ahead of No. 2 and 3 states, Montana (67.75) and Nevada (66.92).

“It’s probably no surprise that Hawaii is one of the states hit hardest by Covid-19 when it comes to travel and tourism because those industries comprise a far larger percentage of businesses in Hawaii than in other states, at 29%,” Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst, said in a statement. “While it’s well known that Hawaii is a popular tourist spot, many people don’t realize just how much of Hawaii’s GDP relies on travelers from all across the globe — 14%. Hawaii also has a greater share of consumer expenditures on travel than any other state.”

Hawaii was given the No. 1 rank in the categories of travel and tourism consumer spending per capita and share of consumer expenditures on travel, and it was second for the share of travel- and tourism industry-generated GDP.

The report drew data from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Travel Association, PayNet and Kaiser Family Foundation. The authors compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia across 10 metrics.

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