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The Virus and Tourism booming in Hawaii

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The Delta Virus of COVID-19 is booming in Hawaii among unvaccinated, tourism is booming with record visitors arrivals. No one seems to be concerned except the Hawaii Tourism Authority trying hard to encourage only high spenders to consider the Aloha State for a vacation.

  1. 59.1% of the population in Hawaii is fully vaccinated, one of the highest rates in the United States.
  2. Despite this 164 new cases of COVID-19 and 7 new hospitalizations were recorded on Friday. Adjusted to vaccinated people, this is one of the highest daily number recorded since the outbreak of the virus.
  3. There are more visitors in Hawaii than in 2019, and Hawaii with the rest of the United States is still closed for international visitors.

The worst day since the pandemic broke out was August 27, 2020, with 371 daily new cases. After Hawaii, relaxed entry requirements for domestic tourists from the mainland USA first in October 2020, the daily infection numbers remained the lowest in the United States averaging about 40-60 a day.

Since July 8, 2021, fully vaccinated visitors no longer have to worry about providing a negative PCR test to avoid 10 days quarantine, and with more than 30,000 arrivals a day it shows.

There are more visitors in Hawaii right now compared to 2019. Hawaii with the rest of the United States is still closed for international visitors. Japanese, Koreans, Canadians, Australians, and Chinese were always a major part of the Hawaii visitors count, but are still not visiting. Domestic tourism is taking its place and more.

The increase in tourism was great news for the tourism-dependent economy in the State, with full hotels, long waits at restaurants, shopping malls crowded, and no towel space at many beaches.

The last week should have caused a wake-up call for those that think the virus is now also history in the Aloha State. Counting out fully vaccinated people that usually won’t get the virus, it’s now a virus among those unvaccinated. Taking into consideration the infection number is shared by only 40% of the population, today’s new caseload is one of the highest recorded in the State.

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In the past, it would have caused complete lock-downs. Today hardly anyone seems to be worried, and bars and other tourism venues remain packed.

Many of these new cases are related to the 10 times more contagious Delta variant. Authorities seemed to be relaxed and tourists keep arriving in record numbers every day.

Hawaii Lt. Governor Green told a local newspaper, the numbers most likely are the result of the 4th of July US Independent day celebration and should go down this week.

While most tourism offices in the world are desperately trying to find ways to promote tourism to their destination, the Hawaii Tourism Authority is doing exactly the opposite, trying to find ways to discourage visitors to come to Hawaii.

Putting in place fees for beaches, talking about increasing landing fees to discourage airlines to come, cutting all advertising, criticizing tourists, and discriminating against tourism press as eTurboNews has been the Modus Operandi ever since native Hawaiian HTA Chief John de Fries took the helm to lead the largest industry in the State, Tourism.

Maui Mayor Mike Victorino recently made national news when he asked the airlines to pause their service to Kahului, Maui, which has been struggling to balance increased tourism demand with limited resources.

Local chat groups sharing horror stories on disrespectful visitors flooding areas like the Northshore on Oahu or Kailua. A tourist touching an endogenous monk seal on the Northshore made national headlines and a stiff warning to tourists to respect the Hawaiian Culture by Hawaii Governor Ige.

Hawaiian Airlines is coming out of the crisis strong and healthy.

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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.

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