The Impact of 9/11 and Other Terrible Global Events on Tourism in the U.S. and Hawaii


Carl Bonham, Christopher Edmonds, and James Mak

East-West Center Working Papers, Economics Series, No. 87


Honolulu: East-West Center

Publication Date: February 2006
Binding: paper
Pages: 23
Free Download: PDF


Publication of this working paper is forthcoming in the Journal of Travel Research.



This paper reviews recent trends in travel and tourism in the U.S. and Hawaii to ascertain how the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and subsequent terrible global events affected their tourism flows and the manner and pace of their recovery. We note that tourism in the U.S. has not fully recovered from 9/11 and other international shocks; indeed recovery of international travel to the U.S. may be a long way off. By contrast, Hawaii tourism is enjoying robust growth in the aftermath of 9/11 as growth in tourist arrivals from the U.S. mainland has more than offset declines in Japanese and other international visitors. We suggest that Hawaii's current tourism boom is in part explained by the diversion of U.S. travel from foreign travel. The paper demonstrates the usefulness of vector error correction models to generate dynamic visitor forecasts which we use to ascertain whether tourism in Hawaii has fully recovered from 9/11 and other terrible international events. The paper considers policy options for facilitating the recovery of international tourism to the U.S.