COVID dropped 2020 National Park visits

Last year, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park had less than half of the visitors it had in 2019.

According to data from the National Park Service, 589,775 visitors attended HVNP in 2020, a 57% decrease from 2019, when 1,368,376 people visited the park.

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The park had expected to see a rise in visitation in 2020, and there had been a 2% increase in visitor numbers in January and February 2020 compared to 2019.

However, HVNP closed between March and June last year in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. And with tourism statewide dropping to a fraction of its 2019 numbers thanks to the pandemic, even when the park reopened in mid-June, visitor rates remained low.

“Park staff continue to work hard to keep Hawaii Volcanoes a safe place for our community and visitors to recreate outdoors, and a safe place to work, by implementing and following federal and local public health guidelines during this pandemic,” said HVNP Superintendent Rhonda Loh in a statement.

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“Currently, almost all trails and backcountry areas that were open before the pandemic are open again. We continue to urge everyone to recreate responsibly and maintain physical distance and small group size, wear masks, and frequently sanitize hands.”

On the other side of the island, Pu‘ukohola Heiau National Historic Site saw visitors drop by 82%, with only 23,970 people visiting the national park last year, compared to the 133,573 visitors in 2019.

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