HONOLULU (KHON2) — Japan’s government increased the daily cap of those entering the country to 20,000. Now airlines such as Hawaiian Airlines plan to increase direct flights to Japan this summer.

Since the pandemic began, Japanese tourists have drastically decreased coming to Hawaii. Pre-pandemic Japan was the largest international market. However, things have changed.

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President and CEO of Hawaii Tourism Authority, (HTA) John De Fries, said Japan is an important part of Hawaii’s visitors. 

“As our largest international market, Japan is a vital part of Hawaii’s visitor mix.” said John De Fries.

He said airlines are preparing for the uptick in service between the islands to Japan and HTA is ready to greet them when they arrive. 

Many businesses welcomed this news with open arms as they have anticipated the return of Japanese visitors.

“Our visitor education efforts are being well-received in Japan, the airlines are gearing up to increase service between Japan and Hawaii, and we look forward to welcoming an increased number of Japanese visitors,” said De Fries.

HTA has analytics of visitors that travel to Hawaii. According to their metrics most international visitors flying to the islands aren’t from Japan, but instead from Canada. However, these summer months could change that.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) announced its “Flying Honu” service will return twice a week starting July 1, that aircraft can carry more than 500 passengers.

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For more information on Hawaii Tourism Authority and their efforts getting Japanese tourists to Hawaii head to their website