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Lanai Tabura is back to join Aloha Bruce by phone for an insightful Hawaii Vacation Connection Podcast as we observe and uphold social distancing advisories while the coronavirus, COVID-19 health crisis grips the whole world. Our hosts talk about keeping hopes for a Hawaii vacation going while we all cope with the pandemic. For now, as Bruce says, Hawaii is basically shut down.
Lanai says “This is going to be a tough one,” and that he has always been someone who has tried to look for the positive in dire circumstances. He’s confident that Hawaii will bounce back.
Our hosts talk about the impact of 9/11 on Hawaii’s travel industry, and how today’s reality compares. Aloha Bruce and Lanai turn their discussion to the importance of keeping local businesses alive as the primary source of revenue for them has vanished in the blink of an eye.
Lanai has been working with local businesses to keep them sustainable while serving communities hardest hit and most at risk from COVID-19. Lanai is helping to coordinate local restaurants with the Meals on Wheels program for home-bound seniors, our kupuna, and other Hawaii residents in need in deeply challenging times.
Lanai shares with our listeners the scope of the efforts to assist and the impact restaurant and business closures are having in communities throughout the Aloha State. He says that private-sector donations are a major part of those efforts. The mission is to raise $250K in the next two weeks. “Everyone is helping,” Lanai says.
Bruce and Lanai get down to the nuts and bolts of mobilizing for Meals on Wheels and how many people and businesses have been donating food and other supplies. Bruce puts it simply: “This is a monumental project.”
Lanai encourages to visit www.alohachallenge.com to donate or volunteer to reach out to Hawaii’s most vulnerable residents. Both our hosts talk about how this effort is a truly effective and direct way to keep local Hawaii businesses sustainable as they struggle to meet the needs of their employees and their communities in this time of real crisis.
Aloha Bruce and Lanai also talk about Lanai’s virtual concerts with cherished local musicians from the iconic band Kapena and others that are helping a Hawaii entertainment industry that has also been hard hit. Bruce notes his rollout of virtual Hawaii tours to keep the whole concept of a Hawaii vacation alive.
Hawaii Aloha Travel has made its Waikiki condominium property available to first responders in Hawaii at the front lines of the battle. “I think we all do our best, Lanai,” Bruce says. “We’re gonna get through it.
Lanai reminds our podcast listeners that they can do more than just stay home and do nothing. “I’m busier now than I ever have been, and that’s with 57 cancellations!” He advises listeners to book Hawaii travel for later in the year and into next year, sharing Bruce’s belief that the Aloha State will bounce back after perhaps months of travel restrictions.
Both Aloha Bruce and Lanai agree that once the global crisis has subsided Hawaii will become even more desirable as the world’s favorite vacation destination. Lanai shares his suggestions for social media and broadcast programming like Cooking Hawaiian Style that feature local chefs and artists and the incredible synergy that Hawaii’s industries are sharing in this time of struggle.
Aloha Bruce and Lanai keep the positive vibes flowing and offer each other and their listeners their genuine Aloha Spirit during these unprecedented and quickly changing times.