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Traveling to Hawaii Now: Yes or No?

, Traveling to Hawaii Now: Yes or No?, eTurboNews | eTN

Los Angeles to Honolulu on United Airlines for $99.00. Such airfares did not even materialize on empty planes during the COVID lockdown.

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The entire Aloha State is experiencing an exodus and massive cancellations due to the deadly wildfires in Lahaina, West Maui.

Obviously, no one wants tourists on beaches, where first responders and locals work around the clock to help neighbors and search for victims in the deadliest wildfires in the United States. This is obviously not only disrepectful, but offensive.

However, the epic center is concentrated in West Maui only. Hotels in Kihei, Wailea, or even Hana operate normally on Maui.

Tourists in Waikiki, the rest of Oahu, Kauai, Hawaii Island, Lanai, or Molokai only hear about the tragedy unfolding in Lahaina in the news, but life goes on.

Tourism is the biggest economy in the State of Hawaii, along with the military. In times of record homelessness, and coming out of 2 1/2 years of a pandemic, tourism is needed and was finally booming again until August 8 changed this overnight.

Many new air routes were established, with almost every seat booked for the last few weeks.

International visitors from Japan, Korea, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia started coming back in good numbers. Also international flights increased frequencies, and new routes emerged.

WRONG: Visitors, Stay Away from Hawaii

A daily press release issued by the Hawaii Tourism Authority a week ago and repeated daily, circulated on major news wires, together with Governor Green echoing visitors to leave and cancel if they can, did the job.

National and international news outlets and their reporters on Maui can spread such news effectively in minutes.

A second avalenge of bad news was now attacking a functioning and busy travel and tourism season in Hawaii. This appeal was so successful that many in the travel business don’t yet know what hit them.

This appeal is resulting in mass cancellations and visitors trying to get on the next plane home. Industry leaders in Hawaii did not want to go against it and kept quiet.

The Hawaiian Tourism Authority has a mandate to promote tourism, but is doing exactly the opposite, and also still mostly concerned with cultural issues.

In addition, celebrities echoed the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s stay-away appeal and influenced many visitors to leave and those that booked a vacation to Hawaii to look for other sand and beach destinations.

Some concerned residents tried to help in their own way and shamed visitors for even contemplating booking a vacation to Hawaii.

While this is all unfolding and is wiping out Hawaii’s main economy, Governor Green all the sudden understood. He clarified and reversed his earlier press release.

CORRECT: Visitors, please travel to Hawaii

He now encouraged visitors to no longer cancel and to come back. This all sends a very confusing message not only to potential tourists but also to airlines, tour operators, and stakeholders in Hawaii and anywhere in the world.

Perhaps Hawaii needs a little advice from outside the box. Hawaii based World Tourism Network with members in 133 countries asked some of its known executives for their feedback.

International Tourism Expert, WTN Hero and outgoing CEO of the Barbados Tourism Board, Dr. Jens Thraetenhard, told eTurboNews:

I think the most important aspect is safety for residents and tourists.

If the destination remains open for tourism and is safe, it should still be able to offer a good experience.

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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