Hawaii Travel Soars Again. Now Through Vaccine and Beyond

While Hawaii travel may not be soaring physically at the moment, stocks say it is about to. Big time. Word earlier today that an effective vaccine could become widely available next year has resulted in a huge and immediate boon for the Hawaii travel industry. Hawaiian Airlines stock for example at the time of publishing is up nearly 50% today! The bellwether’s stock is the single most important barometer of Hawaii travel sentiment. That comes as other travel stocks are also up hugely as visitors become poised to resume Hawaii travel after taking time off since early this year. There is obviously a much larger than expected pent-up demand for Hawaii vacations. 

So what will Hawaii travel be like between now and then, and thereafter?

First, travel will likely never be the same as pre-COVID. That’s becoming readily apparent to everyone. Age Wave CEO Ken Dychtwald, whose company is a think tank on aging, said, “In the past few months, the entire world has had a near-death experience. We’ve been forced to stop and think: I could die, or someone I love could die. When those events happen, people think about what matters and what they will do differently.” 

And so it will be with travel. For the foreseeable future, we will all, by desire or requirement, be taking additional risk avoidance measures on Hawaii vacations. Mask wearing ‘may’ continue to be the norm for the next couple of years since not everyone will be vaccinated.

For Hawaii travelers, age 60 and above, who make up 15% of all island visitors, Dr. Mehrdad Ayati, Stanford University School of Medicine and adviser to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging said,  “What we never calculated was that a pandemic could totally change the dialogue.”

How Hawaii travel will directly benefit.

At least until we are much further along, US domestic travel is set to largely replace foreign travel. After all, your health insurance works here, and you can simply better control everything while in the U.S. Hawaii also uniquely brings many of the exotic aspects of international travel home to a safer domestic paradigm.

Premium class will grow.

Those who have had the ability to choose how to spend their travel dollars may now more frequently than before spend some of that money to get more room and have further distance from fellow passengers. 

BOH tip: When that isn’t possible to go First/Business, one trick that we’ve written about before and use ourselves is to buy three seats for two passengers, instead of two. With more $99 airfares ahead, that makes more sense than ever. 

Hawaii travel will market health and safety as commodities. 

Hawaii hotels and Hawaii vacation rental companies have already begun to advertise their safety protocols and that will expand exponentially to include access to medical and more. The marketing messaging here includes we clean more, we disinfect more, we have more access to health services, and therefore, at the end of the day, we offer you a better, safer choice. We predict more growth in vacation rentals too since they allow you to limit your exposure to others.

Hawaii cruises are set to resume.

Taking health and safety to a new level will be cruise ships, which will necessarily focus on complete medical care and comfort. What will become of the mega cruise ships? Will smaller ships be more what consumers resonate with or will the hospital-like capabilities of mega-ships be more attractive. 

NCL’s all-Hawaii cruise has extended its service suspension until 2021. That further delay is needed to allow time to prepare the ship to meet the new government health measures and requirements recently announced concerning resuming sailing.

Hawaii dining will market safety too. 

Expect Hawaii’s restaurants to bring to your attention all that they do to provide a healthy environment. You’ll see those people who provide cleaning and disinfecting services to be prominently featured, in much the way a host would have been before all this began.

Restrooms won’t be left out of changes.

We can be assured of almost universal no-touch doors, sinks, and toilets wherever in Hawaii you go.

Beat of Hawaii © photo along the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail on Kauai.

76 thoughts on “Hawaii Travel Soars Again. Now Through Vaccine and Beyond”

  1. Aloha! Traveling from Maui to Oahu round trip from Dec 7-11 return— what do we need to do to get back in Maui?
    I understand no Covid to get into Oahu.

  2. We are planning on visiting beautiful Maui in February. SW has airfare from Las Vegas for 691 RT for 2. Do you think we’ll get a better deal if we wait or should we book now? Mahalo for your input.

    1. Hi Linda.

      There are $206 RT airfares on United Airlines and Delta Airlines in February. Hope that helps.


  3. Aloha to all (particularly you Kauai Guys who run this thing),

    Welcome back, visitors who have tested covid negative. Mahalo for complying with our travel requirements. I know they are a pain. But everything about a 100 year pandemic is a pain or worse.

    I feel I did not do a good job of trying to explain Hawai’i’s concern about imported diseases when I wrote about bringing your dog here. If you are not familiar with Hawai’ian history, here’s the long story short about infectious diseases. Native Hawai’ians had no immunity to Western diseases that were not usually fatal to Westerners. But not that many years after the first Western sailor set foot upon a Hawai’ian island, Western contact continued, The Native Hawai’ian population was decimated by measles, tuberculosis, and other diseases.

    Aloha includes the concept of caring for others.Here on Maui, almost all of us wear our mask because we know it protects others. It’s aloha.

    And on a separate note, I want to
    apologize to our Canadian visitors who can’t get one of our approved tests in Canada, so have to stop in the US to be tested. Sorry we didn’t do mo bettah for you.

    1. Canada won’t let US residents in at all, except very limited circumstances, and then only with two week quarantine. When will their government start allowing US visitors in with a pre-travel test? At least they can still come to US and get a test here to go to Hawaii.

  4. Thank you for keeping everyone up-to-date on what’s going on. I just returned to the islands after 6 weeks on the mainland. I used Vault (preferred provider) for my test, which I highly recommend. I took my test Thursday noon, marked it for Hawaii travel (this gets priority processing as the Vault zoom assistant explained), dropped it at UPS, received a notification they received it Friday morning (8:00am) and I had my results that afternoon at 2:45pm. So, I had results in about 24 hours, including UPS delivery to them!

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