Governor Ige Meeting
Yesterday, our coalition of tourism, business, nonprofit, and labor groups met with Governor Ige, HTA President & CEO John De Fries, DBEDT Director Mike McCartney, and members of the Governor's team to discuss his recent request for nonessential travel to halt. We went into the meeting with the hopes of stressing the need to strike a fine balance between slowing the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to recover our economy, and we offered some ideas and initiatives on how we can achieve that delicate balance. All in all, it was a productive discussion with Gov. Ige, and we are looking forward to continuing these sessions with the Governor and his team on a regular basis.
Gov. Ige also shared data about the current COVID-19 surge that you may find of interest:
This data highlights much of what we have been saying for months: We need to continue to push vaccination, abide by public health mandates regarding large groups and social distancing, wear masks, and protect each other. Additionally, as anti-tourism sentiments and misinformation continue to grow, we must keep pushing back with the facts and data above.
COVID Guest Policy
A handful of situations have arisen over the past couple of weeks regarding hotel policy for guests who are COVID-19 positive. While I understand that every COVID case is ultimately unique and requires individualized customer service, the current State emergency proclamation makes clear that lodging operations are obligated to honor any existing reservation a guest may have and must house said guest for isolation purposes or find them alternate accommodations.
"A hotel property’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan shall address all applicable guidance from the CDC and it shall be the responsibility of the hotel operator of each property to accommodate guests who become positive for COVID-19 or are identified as close contacts of a person who is positive for COVID-19, either by accommodating these guests at the property or by securing alternative accommodations."
This was enacted after consultation between industry stakeholders and Governor Ige, and we must try our utmost to abide by this policy. As the Delta variant makes its way through our population, hospital beds are in short supply, emergency responders and medical professionals are being taxed to their limits, and the various departments and organizations tasked with addressing the pandemic are stretched precariously thin. We must—if at all possible—try to accommodate these guests without foisting them on any other agency that is currently being overwhelmed by new COVID-19 cases.
If you would like to discuss further please feel free to contact myself, Jared Higashi (email@example.com) or Jared Ellis (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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