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Tourists Will Now Pay More To Visit Honolulu With New Tax Hike

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New Tax Will Impact Hotels, AirBnBs, and Vacation Rentals On The Island

Honolulu has officially begun implementing a new tax on tourism properties in the county. Hotels, AirBnb’s, and vacation rentals will all be subject to an additional 3% tax. 

long exposure shot of mountains and beach in Honolulu

After a reshuffle this year, the state allowed its individual counties to define their own tax rates up to 3% on top of the previously installed 10.25% state tax. Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui have already started applying their own taxes.

Hawaii has never been associated with budget getaways, and the new financial developments are only adding to the cost laid upon the customer. But how much of an effect is it likely to have on the average Hawaii tourist?

The typical traveler to the idyllic Pacific islands spends about 7 days enjoying the island life. And with an average hotel room running around $200, hotel travelers can expect about $43 being tacked onto their costs. Airbnbs and short term rental properties average considerably higher – around $389 – so expect added costs of just over $81.

Luckily for Hawaii as a whole, it probably won’t impact their numbers too much. The vast majority of travelers to the islands are fully aware of the financial burden involved, and although the tax may be significant for some lower budget customers, it’s not anticipated to hamper visitor numbers.

The beautiful coastline Honolulu Hawaii shot from an altitude of about 500 feet during a helicopter photo flight over the Pacific Ocean. (1)

The tax is expected to generate around $86 million dollars for the county. After the state severed county access to tourist property tax revenues, the 3% will be a welcome addition for Honolulu and the other counties. A good portion of the revenues are anticipated to go towards railway projects.

Currently, Hawaii is open for business with some restrictions on entry.

For Vaccinated American Citizens:

Under the Safe Travels Hawaii program, fully vaccinated American citizens entering from another US state can avoid the mandatory quarantine period if they provide an officially accepted form of proof of vaccination. They are not required to show a negative COVID test.

rainbow scenic view over the popular surfing place Sunset Beach, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii

The vaccination document must be uploaded to the Safe Travels Hawaii portal AND printed out for verification at the airport. As well as this, the health form found on the Safe Travels Hawaii website must be completed as well.

For Unvaccinated Americans:

Unvaccinated Americans, also under the Safe Travels Hawaii program, can enter the state and avoid the mandatory quarantine period if they show evidence of a negative COVID test taken no more than 72 hours before departure.

The test must be a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) administered and verified by an officially certified clinical laboratory. The result must be uploaded to the Safe Travels Hawaii Portal AND printed out for verification at the airport.

Citizens arriving from the mainland USA or one of its territories without proof of a negative COVID test, will be subject to the mandatory 10 day quarantine. The health form found on the Safe Travels Hawaii website must be completed as well.

International Travelers Entering Hawaii From Another US State Or Territory 

Foreign visitors to Hawaii, who are entering from another US state will be classified under the same rules as American citizens. See above descriptions.

International Travelers Entering Hawaii From Another Country

Foreign visitors entering from another country are not subject to the same rules as those visiting from another state. As Hawaii aligns with the Federal mandates regarding entry to the country, all passengers should already have been vetted under the rules. Generally, this means the visitor must be vaccinated, and must have been tested within 24 hours before departure.

Read More

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Grenada Eases Entry Requirements For Vaccinated Travelers

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Thursday 23rd of December 2021

Is this tax waved if you are a Hawaii resident? (Eg have a Hawaii drivers license that you can present to the front desk)

Kashlee Kucheran

Friday 24th of December 2021

No we do not believe so


Sunday 19th of December 2021

Hawaii's new tourism slogan: GO AWAY!