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“Mindful” Japanese Entering Hawaii As Domestic Visitors? Governor Responds to Dire Situation.

If Hawaii governor Josh Green gets his way, Hawaii may receive Japanese visitors as domestic passengers, opening the way to more flights than currently exist, especially to neighbor islands.

Hawaii is working with the US and Japanese governments to create a familiar system that exists, for example, from Ireland, the Netherlands Antilles, Bermuda, the United Arab Emirates, the Bahamas, and Canada. Eight Canadian airports pre-clear visitors departing to the US, including Hawaii, to expedite arrival here and permit travel directly to neighbor islands. If approved, this would recreate that system, allowing Japanese tourists to complete customs and immigration procedures prior to departing Japan.

Currently, Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu on the island of Oahu is the main gateway to other islands in Hawaii from Japan, and second in line is Kona on Big Island. If travelers can complete immigration procedures before departure, it will simplify entry to Hawaii and pave the way for direct flights to other islands, such as Maui, Green said in an interview during his recent visit to Japan.

If approved, direct flights from Japan could fly into Hawaii airports that currently have no such international arrival facilities. All this is a questionable attempt to boost tourism to Hawaii from Japan. That given multiple factors that include the Japanese economy and priorities that are clearly not focused on Hawaii travel, especially by younger Japanese. In fact, Hawaii tourism from Japan doesn’t appear poised to return for years. Japan tourism arrivals to Hawaii currently sit at only about 31% of normal, with spending at 35% of normal.

Gov. Green is focused explicitly on bringing Japan flights to Maui.

Being somewhat late to understanding the dire state of tourism on Maui, Green said while in Japan recently, “It’s very important that people travel to Maui because our recovery will be accelerated if people do visit anywhere in Maui, anywhere at all.”

Ultimately, this will be a decision by the federal government.

Back to the idea of thoughtful tourists.

Green said while in Japan earlier this month, “Japanese tourists have traditionally been among our best tourists because they are very thoughtful about the culture and also spend a great deal of resources.”

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10 thoughts on ““Mindful” Japanese Entering Hawaii As Domestic Visitors? Governor Responds to Dire Situation.”

  1. ‘Mindful tourists’…. Ever hear the term “Zombie tourist?”….
    Often applied to the bus loads of Japanese tourists,looking up, not paying attention, etc….
    Thier ‘Resources’ however, are highly sought after…

  2. Not sure why the Governor and his wife took this trip.Japan is encouraging people to travel domestically because of the recession there. Maui never had a huge Japanese visitor market. Why didn’t he go to the West Coast?

  3. Obviously Gov. Green has never experienced the bus loads of “thoughtful Japanese tourists” at Volcano National Park. It has been a while since we have experienced it, but when we did, they were some of the rudest people we have ever encountered on the islands. Gov. Green is beginning to make former Gov. Ige look like a great leader.

        1. Rumors of my demise are fake news. Here in Wainiha for a few months. Can’t complain (except about the weather the last few days). Had a 3 hour layover in Maui back in October. The airport was empty after our plane emptied out, so we took a cab to the Ale House to pass the time. Wow, was that poor driver depressed. He said pre-fire he would have 7-8 fares from the airport each shift, and since the fire, he would get 2 per shift at best. We tipped him twice the fare. Took an Uber back, and that guy was equally gloomy. OTOH, airport security was also empty. No lines. No people but some bored TSA dudes. Not a good scene, but that was 6 weeks ago, so maybe has improved .since …

          1. I live at Kaanapali Hillside within walking distance to the Westin Villas and it was packed on Thanksgiving Day. I did not see any empty pool chairs and the beach was full as well. I assume the reason being that the Westin Villas is mostly “time shares” and those people are back, since they already “prepaid” their week(s). If locals didn’t want tourists, they should have opposed the construction of the additional North buildings after the original Resort was built over 20 years ago.

  4. “Japanese tourists have traditionally been among our best tourists, because they are very thoughtful about the culture and spend a great deal of resources.” In reverse order, see “spend a great deal of resources (see money).” I can still remember any Hotel in Waikiki in the late 1980’s, early ‘90’s, before they stopped coming, whether HHV, Sheraton Waikiki, Hyatt Waikiki, where there were large Elevator banks, a door would open, the Elevator full, and 20 Japanese would try and get on, mattered not the crowd! The first sign that they are back, will be when Duty Free Shoppers returns to the Airport and Waikiki!

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