HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Hawaii’s economy is enjoying an unexpected surge in North American travelers flocking to the islands as vaccinations rise and restrictions ease.
But the governor doesn’t think the boom will continue.
In an interview this week, Governor David Ige said Hawaii has a reputation for being a COVID-safe travel destination and is enjoying the results of pent-up travel demand.
Hold back Hawaii?
There are still very few people arriving from Japan because there is a quarantine there. “I don’t see the end of it, but the vaccinations are clearly going to be in the US,” he said. I think that trips for vaccinated people can possibly be done without quarantine. “
Damon Caruana and his family came to Hawaii from California for their first trip since the pandemic.
“Ready to get out of the house and do some outdoor activities,” said Caruana.
“It was great,” he added.
Bruce Fisher of Hawaii Aloha Travel says he switched from three to ten agents to meet demand.
“The pent-up demand is really amazing. We get calls every day from people who want to come in June and July, ”Fisher said.
“It was really busy. Overwhelming, ”he added.
US airlines are still banned from flying many international destinations, so they are using more aircraft on Hawaii routes.
“I saw the Hawaii seating report in June and it’s up 20% from pre-pandemic levels to over 1 million seats this month,” Ige said.
But he warns that the bubble may burst after the summer.
“We’re seeing an increase in North American travelers, but it’s going to burst and we’re going to go back to normal travel patterns,” he said.
There was a steady flow of people at the Honolulu Airport on Friday. But Japan Airlines had empty counters and kiosks covered in plastic.
While Japan is grappling with the Olympics and a low vaccination rate, Hawaii is still hoping to open the borders, Ige says. “We’re working with our government to make travel to Japan possible because Japan is such an important market for us,” said Ige.
He adds that tourism recovery from the Asian market may not happen until late 2021 or early 2022.
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