Starting Today - More Hawaii Covid Travel Changes Take Effect

Hawaii’s New Visitor Paradigm: “Ready To Travel; Willing to Pay More?”

A study just out says that you are ready and willing to pay more and use the loyalty points you have acquired, to secure your 2022 Hawaii vacation spot. And that comes just as a controversial statement is released by the states’ Hawaii Tourism Authority which we’ve included in today’s article.

What we have learned about Hawaii travel from Covid.

If we’ve learned anything from the last two years, it is “carpe diem” or to seize the moment. That comes after Hawaii visitors have, as you’ve reported countless times in comments, canceled multiple trips to the islands and stand ready to return in record numbers.

Expedia’s 2022 Travel Value Index, which covers far more than Hawaii, and that is just out, says that 54% of you are now are planning to spend more on vacations than you did before Covid. Many of you are also ready to let loose of frequent flyer and other loyalty points you’ve accumulated, with 40% of you saying you’ll use those to pay some part of your upcoming 2022 vacation. Expedia says, “nearly 3 in 5… are more likely to take a two-week vacation in 2022, and more than a third would trade a salary increase for more time off to travel.” Interesting changes indeed in our values!

Flexible Hawaii airfares and discounts to the top of your list.

Most of those responding, 83%-85%, want both flexible airfare booking options and a discounted price when buying airline tickets online. Who doesn’t still want cheap flights to Hawaii?

Right in line with Hawaii’s stated new travel values.

The study showed that visitors, including those Hawaii-bound, also want to travel responsibly, with 93% of respondents saying they are flexible in adapting travel plans based on the lack of tourism workers and 98% saying they will take into account the local impact of Covid.

Half of those surveyed are now ready to pay more for a “sustainable trip” or would opt for less crowded destinations in an attempt to help reduce over-tourism’s impacts.

Hawaii Tourism Authority.

That’s perfect timing, at least in terms of what the Hawaii Tourism Authority says the state wants. This week their CEO was quoted as saying, he wants visitors who “understand Hawaii to be something unique, special and memorable, and worth investing in terms of a vacation.” It seems clear where that is heading. The term, “worth investing” seems to indicate visitors who pay more. While that may sound good in theory, the reality is that hotels have beds to fill, activity providers need enough people to buy from them, and the list goes on.

Are new Hawaii visitors more important than returning ones?

Expedia is suggesting that travel vendors offer new promotions to attract travelers rather than try to encourage hesitant travelers to return. That’s an interesting suggestion and, based on your thousands of comments about returning to Hawaii or not, might be well suited to our situation here.

Plus, we’re all tired of staffing issues, canceled flights, and waiting in lines!

43% of those surveyed said they plan to now add an extra time buffer to account for long lines, missed flights, and staffing issues. Expedia suggests that travel companies make their change and cancellation rules easy and clear.

Expedia’s take: the changing experience of travel.

Expedia for Business president Ariane Gorin said, “travel is about to experience a year unlike ever before as people plan purpose-driven trips, value vacation time more, and up their investment in unique experiences. Still, travelers are preparing themselves for possible trip changes as COVID-19 persists, and they want an array of options at their fingertips.”

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17 thoughts on “Hawaii’s New Visitor Paradigm: “Ready To Travel; Willing to Pay More?””

  1. Aloha! I’m a big believer in the adage of “you get what you pay for”, so if I can afford it, I will spend more, especially if it helps Hawaii’s economy. If I can’t, then I won’t go. When I have been to Hawaii, my hubby and I spent our money in grocery stores, local small mom and pop stores, etc. And when at restaurants, we tipped big to show our appreciation. Hawaii is worth every penny.

  2. I want to visit Big island, and waiting for a long time now.
    Whenever I try to visit then it seems requirement to get into Hawaii does change always because of COVID requirement change and it is a moving target. Is there a such web site that exactly tells what I have to pepare to visit Hawaii (before arrival to Hawaii) on such such week?

  3. Over tourism is killing Hawaii. The only benefit goes to the snorkel tour boats, bus companies, and hotels. Oh ya and the dreaded ugly cruise ships. Enough is enough

    1. Last time we visited the BI in Nov./Dec. 2021 we spent $ in grocery stores, fish markets, car rental agencies, bars, restaurants, farmer’s markets, coffee plantations, gas stations, convenience stores, gift shops and shipped home about $400 worth of Hawaiian goods. All of those places employ locals. We also paid tourist surcharges at parks and local taxes. Every local we met was unfailingly friendly and more gracious than some people in other places we have visited. All appreciated our business.

  4. Are they really thinking that it makes more sense to get a 1st time visitor, who while they may be willing to fork out 25% more, will never return again? I admit I look for the bargains, try to get the best experience for my money. But I’ve been to Hawaii over 20 times in the past 35 years. Being an older individual, travel anywhere, has been on hold for the past couple of years. And I can’t wait to come back. But will I be welcomed? Fewer people would be great, but who chooses who? Thanks


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