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Is Tourism in Hawaii about to commit suicide? Realities seen by hotel staff

Trump Hotel and Park Shore Hotel Waikiki explain how visitors are monitored

Is Tourism in Hawaii about to commit suicide? Realities seen by hotel staff
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The biggest industry in Hawaii is Tourism. Tourism is everyone’s business. Is the visitor industry about to commit suicide and kill many of the 1.2 million people living in Hawaii in the process? What needs to happen immediately to stop this madness?

Hawaii Governor Ige said today: “Beating coronavirus is a marathon and not a sprint.”  There are 517 cases of reported coronavirus in the State of Hawaii. 9 people died because of COVID-19.

Hawaii has been a model for US states and has been doing a good job to keep the deadly virus under control. Relaxed enforcement of rules and keeping airports open for passenger travel including the ongoing tourism industry  is putting 1.2 million people living in Hawaii in great danger to fail.

Strict rules put in place by Hawaii’s Mayors may have contributed to this remote island state being in a better position than most US mainland states.  The balance between active and recovered cases is narrowing, which is a good sign, and the infection rate remains relatively low.

Hawaii as an island state has an advantage. Hawaii could isolate itself. Passenger air travel between islands, from abroad, and the from the US mainland has been ongoing. Today, arrivals are down from an average of 30,000 passengers to 661 people that still arrived in the Aloha State. Arrivals included 164 visitors.

Governor Ige seems to always react with a dangerous delay and still did not react to people’s demand supported by all four mayors. People are demanding the Governor to urge federal authorities to restrict air traffic to essential business only.

Visitors together with locals are required to isolated for 2 weeks after they land at a Hawaii airport. For visitors, it means two weeks in their hotel room – at least on paper.

What quarantine for visitors was supposed to mean:
Isolation was supposed to mean ordering food from outside sources to be delivered to the hotel room or apartment. Hotels no longer operate restaurants, gyms, or pools. The Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Honolulu Police Department are supposed to monitor and enforce this.

The reality seems to be very different.
Jason is a front desk manager of Park Shore Hotel in Waikiki. He talked to eTurboNews today.

The Park Shore Hotel is in a prime Waikiki location and remains open for business. According to Jason, most guests are construction workers from the US mainland and have been staying in the hotel for awhile. They are no longer under any isolation order.

He did admit 1 or 2 visitors are still checking in every day and at least one room is under quarantine order at this time.

He told eTurboNews that visitors are given a paper with State and City regulations, and after that, it is up to the guest to obey these rules. He stressed that hotel staff is not policing guests. “This would not be in our interest.”

This is different from what Mayor Caldwell and Governor Ige told eTurboNews for the last two weeks, in that guests are allowed to leave the hotel to buy food. The hotel doesn’t stop anyone to leave to go to the beach. The hotel is not keeping a log. The hotel staff would not know how long guests under quarantine are staying away from the property to “shop or eat.”

Wearing masks may be a requirement for many, but it was not the policy of the hotel to tell anyone to wear masks. This may change after Mayor Caldwell today announced a new order to be put in place as of Monday.

Jason added: “Yes, our staff is worried about coronavirus. Therefore, we no longer service rooms. We leave fresh linens outside the rooms for guests to take in. Our pool and restaurants are closed.

Listen to the 7-minute interview:

eTurboNews also contacted Patsy in the sales department of the Trump Hotel in Waikiki. The hotel is still open, but most guest services are unavailable. A spokesperson told eTurboNews the property is no longer taking new reservations until May 1, but can still accept guests. However, Patsy said there are no services at the hotel (restaurant, pool, etc.)

The only arrivals to the hotel are owners. Hotel rooms at the Trump Hotel Waikiki are privately owned. Rooms are sold as hotel rooms when owners are away. The hotel had no data about how many people are under quarantine and was not monitoring such guests since they are considered owners. The hotel currently only employs a skeleton staff.

Listen to the 4-minute interview:

The conclusion is…

The interpretation of the quarantine requirement is up to debate and not really enforced. There is a hotline to report offenders, but hotel staff is not hired to police visitors.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority never responded to eTurboNews, and their phone lines are not answered. It remains unclear how they monitor visitors.

The Honolulu Police Department only responds to complaints, but would not have an officer in hotels to enforce quarantine issues.

It doesn’t take a lot of people to import this virus before it runs out of control. Will this mean Hawaii could eventually lose the war against COVID-19?

Will this mean non-complying visitors may eventually kill the biggest economy for the state? Will this mean indirectly that tourism will kill many of the 1.2 million residents as a result of not sealing off our borders?

Hawaii needs to eliminate passenger arrivals during this crisis. Hawaii needs to find a way to effectively police their own rules and make it close to impossible for more people to fly in and out every day. Designated hotels away from Waikiki for quarantine may be an option as well.