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Record Tourism in Hawaii is the new unexpected normal: Don’t tell anyone!

Record Tourism in Hawaii is a secret but the new unexpected normal
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After one year of silence the Hawaii Tourism Authority will be answering questions on an upcoming World Tourism Network Zoom call on April 7. The public is invited to participate and ask questions. How did Hawaii bring so many visitors back quietly?

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  1. Tourism in Waikiki is booming again. The Easter Holidays this year saw Waikiki packed with visitors.
  2. With record domestic tourist arrivals, hotels and airlines are keeping this success for the Hawaii Visitors Industry a State secret.
  3. The balance of COVID-19 infections and vaccine is in place. The key is to keep it in place to make Hawaii the first place in the world to have everything “back to normal.”

With close to 20,000 daily arrivals from the US Mainland a day, pre-clearance of for many airlines in place, so passengers can get to the beach the minute they arrive, Hawaii is showing the world how tourism can be back to normal in the Aloha State – even without international visitors.

Waikiki on Easter Sunday

It appears hotels and airlines want this popularity not to be known and “rather not comment”, due to corporate policies.

It also appears even more domestic visitors are flooding the beaches compared to normal times.

Of course who is missing are the Canadians, the Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, Australian, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Europeans. There are hardly any foreigners, but hotels and restaurants are busy, shops can hardly handle the new domestic tourism demand.

If the United States would open the borders, combining the increased domestic potential with new flights, new domestic markets, Hawaii Tourism would be back to normal or more in no time. Is this good news, or scary news?

What about social distancing? Forget social distancing at the beaches. No one is asking, no one is enforcing. Inside hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, there is a strict mask policy. Some stores including Apple Computer still have strict policies in place to only allow customers in with appointments.

This seems to be very different at most other shops, restaurants or entertainment places.

It takes less than a minute for waiters at the famous “Cheese Cake Factory” to clean and sanitize dining tables in between guests.

Sanitation rules are definitely not in place the way necessary at large restaurants like the Cheese Cake factory, while many other restaurants put a lot of emphasis in to keep their establishment clean and safe. Listen to the manager at the Waikiki Cheesecake Factory who told a guest to call “Corporate” to get an explanation why.

Most destinations in the world already accepted that tourism will never be back the way it was. Is Hawaii a rare exception in the world?

COVID-19 infections in Hawaii are still the lowest compared to the other US States but had been climbing slightly recently. Hawaii is doing really good with vaccines. It seems to be a balancing act between infections and the vaccine. Perhaps in Hawaii, the vaccine and tourism are on the winners this time.

With the economy on a breaking point, high unemployment, this is definitely a welcoming development for the Aloha State.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority, the State agency in charge of Tourism has been quiet throughout the crisis.

On Wednesday, April 7 Pattie V. Herman, VP Marketing & Product Development Hawaii Tourism Authority will be a guest on a World Tourism Network zoom discussion to give more details and answer questions. eTurboNews readers are invited to register and participate. Go to https://worldtourismevents.com/event/is-hawaii-tourism-back/ and be part of this discussion.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.