On our latest Hawaii Vacation Connection Podcast, Aloha Bruce is joined by his charming wife Yaling. While our podcast is otherwise always light and full of expert insight about all things that interest Hawaii vacationers, the current pandemic calls for a more serious discussion about the COVID-19 Impact on Hawaii Vacations and residents alike. As Bruce says, “It’s probably one of the toughest podcasts we’ve ever done.”
Bruce says that all of Hawaii Aloha Travel’s incoming bookings have ceased due to COVID-19. Bruce talks about an order by Hawaii Governor David that will require all incoming passengers to Hawaii to enter a 14-day quarantine beginning March 26. The purpose of this order is to discourage people from coming to Hawaii as the global pandemic continues to spread. Yaling and Bruce agree that it’s a good idea to do everything possible to stop the spread of the virus, but also that it is certain to severely impact Hawaii businesses for the foreseeable future.
Tourism is Hawaii’s top industry and Bruce discusses a “stay at home order” issued by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Sunday, March 22, to take effect at 4:30 pm Monday, March 23 and the likely impact it will have.
Bruce notes that many of Hawaii Aloha Travel customers who have had to cancel reservations have already rescheduled for June and July. Bruce also reminds listeners to take out travel protection for your Hawaii vacation and to save up now for a Hawaii vacation when the drastic measures made necessary by concerns over the Impact on Hawaii Vacations are lifted.
Bruce discusses rebooking reservations already made with Hawaii Aloha Travel, pausing reservations, and canceling reservations. Customers have several options to adjust travel plans, but that things are changing very quickly and on a daily basis.
Bruce offers hope to Hawaii visitors who have booked without travel protection. He notes ways that airlines and hotels are accommodating visitors and recommends getting in touch with your travel agent (hopefully Hawaii Aloha Travel!).
Bruce and Yaling agree that the visitor industry in Hawaii is working together to address visitors’ and residents’ concerns. Bruce notes that 50% of Hawaii Aloha Travel’s current bookings have canceled their plans altogether and that the other 50% have rescheduled.
Our hosts let listeners know that Hawaii Aloha Travel is available for a free consultation to anyone affected by measures taken by Hawaii officials, whether or not they are HAT customers. This includes people who have booked travel on their own or through popular online services that may not be as responsive to the needs of their customers. This approach is reflective of the Aloha Spirit. As Yaling says, “Everybody has to do their part.” If we can’t solve the challenge for you, we can help you find a solution.
With their unique Hawaii travel expertise, Bruce and Yaling offer tips on the best times to book Hawaii travel once the drastic measures now in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are finally lifted. Our hosts encourage listeners and Hawaii visitors to contact Hawaii Aloha Travel with any questions they may have about the rapidly developing circumstances caused by concerns over the virus.
Bruce and Yaling provide valuable information about the grave concerns the pandemic presents, but they do it with characteristic good nature and a comforting tone that is sure to put a smile on your face. Bruce says co-host Lanai Tabura is absent for this podcast because he is wisely practicing social distancing. Lanai will return for next week’s podcast, perhaps by phone.
Aloha Bruce puts it simply and calmly in the true community spirit that makes the Aloha State such a unique destination in all the world: “We’ll figure it out.”