Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaii Travel This Summer: A Bonanza Or A Bust?

Hawaii travel news vacillates between seemingly unrelated updates from both Lieutenant Governor Josh Green and Governor David Ige. Green, a Big Island emergency room physician, is unable to bring his ideas to fruition. At the same time, Governor Ige appears determined not to take any action to move away from the status quo.

Will Hawaii travel this summer be a bonanza or bust? 

Green has checked in on the side of a bonanza, indicating that Hawaii could start to resume with significantly m0re visitors for the summer season. Ige, however, says bust, saying he thinks it could be an additional six months or so beyond summer until that happens.

Travel seems poised for a huge resumption soon overall, as indicated in the news just out from both Airbnb and Expedia/VRBO. The question is to what degree Hawaii will be part of that.

How can visitors safely plan to support Hawaii’s failing travel economy without a consistent message?

The governor said he was not planning to change the Safe Travel program to include a vaccination-based exception at this time. He indicates he is waiting for the science and proof that the planned CommonPass app will work for Hawaii’s Safe Travels program.

Lack of regular communication and a reliable plan and messaging continues to leave visitors unsure. We hear from large numbers of you who are finding it too complicated and troubling to plan a Hawaii vacation until this is addressed.

Is approval for Hawaii vaccination passports about to happen or not?

You keep asking, and here’s what we know as of today. Lt. Gov. Green says he still has hopes to see interisland travel based on vaccination (at least two weeks before travel) beginning by April 1. Green last noted, “My personal recommendation is we get to that point on or before April 1, where we have no requirements for testing between the neighbor islands because we are safe and we’ve vaccinated so many of our people.” Concerning and tell-tale at the same time, Green is now sharing a “personal recommendations” rather than speaking for the State and its Safe Travels program.

Green had also asked that the program starts with essential workers commencing March 1. That obviously is not happening, and there has been no movement from the governor.

Green also said we could expect that vaccination travel program to roll out to trans-Pacific visitors starting May 1. Whether we are the only ones listening to Green since the governor does not appear to be.

Hawaii state legislature is considering a bill to unify COVID travel rules. 

Last week HB 1286 was passed 12 to 3 by the House Finance Committee as it makes its way through the House and moves to the Senate. There is no timeline for this becoming law even if it passes, as Ige would need to sign it.

On a note of interest, Kauai was the last of the islands to be conquered by King Kamehameha, who formed one royal kingdom of islands in 1810. History repeats itself, and Kauai could also be the last island to come under Safe Travels should this Bill pass.

How much of this is politically motivated we’ll leave to you.

As you know, Lt. Gov. Green is expected to run for governor in 2022 when Ige terms out. Ige, on the other hand, is set to support Honolulu’s prior mayor Kirk Caldwell.

The entire situation is very confusing and continues to send disjointed messaging to travel stakeholders and those seeking a Hawaii vacation. In the end, it is the economy of the entire state that continues to suffer.

Ige, for one, can’t even make up his own mind, let alone agree with the Lt. Governor. It was, after all, Ige who put Green in charge of the state’s COVID travel program, only to repeatedly yet unofficially take that authority back. Then too, the governor had been a proponent of one set of rules for the entire state in terms of its travel testing program. He subsequently allowed Kauai County to remove itself from the Save Travels program and since then no longer seems sure whether one size fits all or it doesn’t.

39 thoughts on “Hawaii Travel This Summer: A Bonanza Or A Bust?”

  1. I just watched an interview on kho2 news.
    The video and news article was dated March 2nd.
    You can read it, and , or watch it if anyone is interested..
    Title: “Gov. Ige hopes to ease restrictions for vaccinated travelers by the end of summer”

  2. Mahalo again guys for your stellar reporting and commentary. Without Beat of Hawaii we’d all be lost

    If nothing else, I’d like to see the 72 hours extended to 92. It breaks my heart to read about everyone having to cancel coming.

    In closing, I’d like to mention that Gov. Ige saying he’s waiting to see the science on vaccinations is laughable at best. (He’s such a scientific expert)

    Stay blessed

    1. Hi Pam.

      Thanks for your continued input. We haven’t heard anything about extending 72 hours to be 96 hours for a long time. What happened to that proposal we have to wonder?


  3. The vaccination passport will attract more visitors and therefore an increase of jobs. How can Hawaiian residents plan for a future when the Governor hasn’t outlined a plan for recovery of tourism.
    Reportedly medicaid has increased dramatically on the Islands, with now 1/3 of the State(405,598) residents on medicaid . That’s very sad.
    I’d like to know what the residents who work on the Islands(not retiree transplants, or those who work remotely) think about increasing tourism since many are directly affected by less tourism dollars.
    I was a frequent visitor and have a number of friends on Hawaii who I want to see, but won’t return until I don’t have to have anxiety about testing and quarantine. The vaccination passport with no testing and possibility of quarantine is the only way that I and many others will return

  4. Too many restrictions to travel to Kauai. Cancelled my trip plans for May. Hello to Turks and Caicos. Turks and Caicos has some pretravel requirements, but nothing as complicated as Kauai. No wristbands. We do have to be tested for Covid before we can return to the U.S., but hoping those restrictions will be eased before our return. Hopefully sometime down the road, reality will set in and will plan another trip to Hawaii.

  5. I flew to Maui from Phoenix Monday, March 1. I was very concerned about getting my test results back in time, so I scheduled 2 tests, just to be sure. My Walgreen’s test was back in 11 hours and it was free! The other test was done near the airport for passengers on Hawaiian. It cost $90 and got back in time, just not as fast as Walgreens. Because I’m old and not real tech savy, I had a lot of anxiety about getting the Safe Travel stuff all figured out. But the employees at the airport were very kind and helpful, and now that I’m here, it was well worth it!
    Thanks for all the information you send out to make travel easier!

    1. Hi Lorna.

      Thanks for that feedback. Glad everything worked out and you made it to Hawaii successfully.


  6. Airfare deals for the summer!?
    Bonanza or Bust?

    This is ALL up to the Hawaiian residents and Government!

    My family and two other families have SAT on our Kauai reservations since early 2020 (actually 2019). We’ve rescheduled 3 times! We can’t afford to throw our money away! OTOH, I feel sorry for the condo owners, Hoteliers and islanders who have lost and continue to lose their livelihood.

    We’re still holding on, but the waiting is waning with some in our party.

    Personally, I’m waiting for the House Bill to pass and await an open door. That said, most of us have been vaccinated, but await for a GO… By the time that comes around we will be outside the time frame for vaccinated people getting a pass…

    This is all money and livelihoods being thrown away by all the islands or Government.

    Deals for airfare? WHY GAMBLE?

    Bonanza? Poor choice of a word… At this point, the word should be “RECOVERY.”

    I think we’re all waiting to a positive move by the Hawaii Government… or it will be a MAJOR BUST….

  7. Our family has decided to put our faith in the system revolving itself in favor of vaccines by summer, and have book the second half of June on the big Island and at our resort in Ko Olina. As my wife and I are both essential workers, we should be fully vaccinated by then, and are looking forward to some long overdue R&R! It will be a shame if we have to rebook and take all of our spending money elsewhere, as we’d much rather have it go to the many businesses in need over there.

    As for your comment about the Governor needing to sign the bill – if he were to veto it, couldn’t the state legislature overrule him and implement HB 1286 with enough votes? It seems to me that if Ige can’t get out of the way due to his constant indecision, then the system should be able to override him, right?

    Thanks for the regular updates, and we hope this comes to a logical solution sooner than later…

    1. Hi Jeffrey.

      Yes the legislature could override, and we have no idea if that would occur. We are quite a ways off from that at this point.


  8. Just posted to kauai. Mayor rejoining safe travel group as of April 4th. Can you feel my tears and screams of joy from there?

  9. Thank you for the updates.
    We have had paid reservations for Kauai for the end of April for 8 months. It is impossible to plan because there is so much conflicting information. If someone would just stand up and do the right thing by giving a definitive answer on travel for this year we could plan. Even a no would give us opportunity to make other vacation plans. Our vacation dates can’t change for work so we can’t keep moving our reservations back. A little Aloha spirit would be greatly appreciated.

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