September 28, 2020
While October 15 and the restoration of trans-Pacific travel draws nearer, businesses around the state continue to prepare for an influx of visitors while also navigating new COVID-19 restrictions, especially on O'ahu. These restrictions, which are part of the recently unveiled Honolulu’s tiered recovery program, have raised numerous questions ranging from exemptions to enforcement. They have also caused some to ask: who will want to visit Hawai'i under such restrictions?
As we have pushed Gov. Ige to re-open, I have consistently made clear in comments to the media that any trip to Hawai'i right now won't boast all the usual trimmings and perks of a pre-COVID-19 vacation. That being said, visitors can still come here, enjoy the many things we have to offer, and rest easy knowing that our local tourism industry has made the necessary preparations to keep them safe and healthy throughout their stay. I expect that further issues requiring clarification will arise when visitors begin to arrive, and they will be addressed as needed. But we can also start tweaking and fixing some of the more obvious and onerous restrictions now as was pointed out in today’s Star-Advertiser story cited above.
Despite these ambiguities, it is evident that the word is spreading that Hawai'i will soon be open for business. The Anchorage Daily News, the most widely read news publication in Alaska, recently contacted me for a story detailing both how Alaskans can travel to Hawai'i, and what they need to know about our pre-arrival testing program and current COVID-19 restrictions.
I am confident that the demand for travel to Hawai'i exists and will only continue to grow as travelers learn that they can come here secure in the fact that we are prepared to keep them safe.
"HLTA supported Mitch for the top job at the Prosecutor's Office in 2016, and he did an outstanding job working with the hospitality industry to create a safe environment for both visitors and Hawai'i Island residents. He has close working relationships with Hawai'i Island legislators, and I am highly confident that he will bring a collaborative and energetic style of leadership to the Mayor's office."
Candidate for Senate District 19
'Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe, 'Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Point,
portion of 'Ewa Villages
"We supported Senator Fevella during the Senate District 19 Special Election in 2018, and he has been a champion for our industry for the past two years. The lifelong 'Ewa Beach resident has always kept his door open for tourism industry stakeholders, and we are confident that he will continue to be an ally when he is re-elected."
Over the coming weeks, we will continue to share key information about the candidates that have been endorsed by HLTA for November's election. You may also visit our endorsement page here. There you will be able to review their websites as well as the tourism-centric questionnaire that they completed to be considered for endorsement.
Don't forget to click on the candidate's photos to watch their personal videos!
Stay in the know
Keep up with HLTA through our blog! Let us know what you think in the comment box below each post.