Hawaii Visitors are Back and Mostly It's Good

Hawaii Visitors are Back and Mostly It’s Good

Kauai has come back online as of this week as it rejoined the rest of the state in the Hawaii Safe Travels program. Moreover, Hawaii travel is in an unexpected and maybe unprecedented boon. That, while international travel and other exotic destinations remain off the table for now due to COVID restrictions. Furthermore, the resumption of travel is a good thing, and we know many people who have been able to go back to work here, for the first time in more than a year. It comes too at a good time since Hawaii ranks last in the country on key economic indicators due to our previously decimated tourism economy.

Yesterday, Hawaii House Speaker Scott Saiki from Honolulu had an interesting reaction to the sudden rebound that caught all of us by surprise. He said that while we thought tourism’s return would be slow and safe, it is definitely anything but slow. He further commented on what we already know. Come June, he said, the lid is off, and tourism will be back at full capacity. From then through the end of 2021, booking numbers are even exceeding those in 2019.

Saiki is a big proponent of removing testing requirements starting with interisland travel and, in fact, and suggested that occur months ago. That message has been seconded again this week by both Hawaiian Airlines’ CEO Peter Ingram and by the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association’s president Mufi Hannemann.

How will tourism rebound impact Hawaii residents?

We are glad you are back! But remember never to let your guard down when it comes to COVID. Visitors and residents need to team together on this. That means, among other things, that everyone mask up and to practice social distancing at least for now. We’ll also be facing the potential for some unexpected crowding on highways and beaches. It’s a great chance for all of us, both residents and visitors, to practice Aloha.

Before COVID, social distancing was already in place with sea turtles and monk seals (like the ones pictured above) on the beach. Keep giving sea creatures space and humans too who are not in your family. We can get through this together while enjoying everything Hawaii has to offer.

49 thoughts on “Hawaii Visitors are Back and Mostly It’s Good”

  1. Aloha Guys,
    Completely agree with your article. It hurts to look at countries that made good use of a mask and compare our covid numbers to their numbers. Finally we can see some light at the end of the tunnel but, we are not there yet. Let’s hope the rest of the year runs more smoothly.

  2. Thanks so much for the update. With the testing requirements changing, it’s hard to know what to prepare for. I’ve been fully vaccinated, at the end of March, but my wife and daughter have yet to get theirs. We have plans to be in Oahu for Thanksgiving week and I hope that decisions will be finalized prior to that. If Hawaii requires us to test, in addition to full vaccination, we’ll do that. We won’t risk it; we already cancelled our Hawaii trip last year and we don’t want to cancel again.

    Thanks so much for all of your info BOH.

  3. I worry about the price gouging. After the whole rental car fiasco. Hopefully businesses don’t try to makeup for loss income out of the pockets of the 1st wave of tourist.

  4. Respectfully I have read conflicting information. Your article makes it seem inter island travel is imminent and things will get easier.
    Read another that states Victorino is going to require a rapid test on direct flights to Maui.
    I am flying to Oahu then transfer to a flight to OGG. Do you know if that will exempt me from the rapid test in Maui?


  5. Aloha Rob and Jeff,
    My family of six (wife and I, and four kids) just completed nine outstanding days between Maui and Oahu, and cannot thank you enough for all the helpful insights over the last 20-months of planning (to include multiple changes to air, hotel and car itineraries). As many have noted, Maui was busy, but we never felt especially crowded, even when driving the Road to Hana or snorkeling the Molokini Crater. Oahu was a different story, beginning with crowds at the Rental Car Counter, traffic jams on the road and crazy crowds at the Dole Plantation. That said, we really had a great time, never felt unsafe with most everyone obeying masking, and distancing, guidelines and – thanks to United – were able to whisk through COVID screening in Maui. This really is the best time to visit Hawaii, and I hope your favorite businesses were able to reopen and are reaping the benefits.
    Bryan C

    1. Hi Bryan.

      Thank you! We appreciate your kind words and are very happy to hear you had a great time on Maui and Oahu. Hope you can return again soon.


  6. And news last night that Maui’s Mayor will implement a 2nd Test upon arrival (trans pacific, including the mainland). The Hawaii Govt so slow on most things, then quick to lut into place something that makes no sense. Fully vaccinated travellers to Maui will have to pre-travel test and NOW will have to take a 2nd test upon arrival?!?!? Is it even legal to require a 2nd test? This will lower those visitor numbers this very article is talking about.

  7. What is meant by, “Come June, he said, the lid is off, and tourism will be back at full capacity.”?

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