HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mark Kimura teaches at UH Hilo. He worked out those likely losses, and kindly explained how he arrived at his figures. He started with projected visitors for May plus June. That was 320,092 visitors.
Then he counted actual visitors for those months. That was 281,681. Subtract actual from projected visitors.
You get a loss of 38,411 visitors. That's a seasonally adjusted 12% loss. Allison Schaefers in the Star Advertiser points out that this is a larger loss than the Hawaii Tourism Authority reported.
Based on the usual pace of Big Island visitor spending, Kimura figures losses for May plus June came to $50 million. Kimura uses Hurricane Iniki as a model for how long tourism takes to recover, and calls it 4.8 months at length, so he estimates $200 million in losses if the lava stopped today.
Kimura was VERY conservative in his $50 million estimate. Allison reminds us that Volcanoes National Park alone estimates $38 million in losses from its closure to date. The Kohala Coast Resort Association says Kohala resorts alone have lost $25 million in May and June room revenue alone. That's just room revenue.