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On our latest Hawaii Vacation Connection Podcast, Aloha Bruce and Yaling Fisher break down the latest from the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau (HVCB), COVID-19 in Hawaii, and its impact on Hawaii tourism. A lot has happened in recent days, and there is a lot to unpack.
Bruce begins by talking about how so much uncertainty right now makes it important to be in the moment, and how it has led him and Yaling to really appreciate the importance of new technologies like Zoom and other video-conferencing in Hawaii’s travel industry.
Our hosts note the scheduled September lifting of the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement, and how it is not clear that it will happen. This is due to an alarming spike in new COVID cases in Hawaii in recent days. Bruce also mentions the quarantine exemption for visitors with a negative COVID test within 72 hours of arrivals.
Bruce tells listeners about restrictions once lifted that have been reinstated, including beach closures and the shuttering of bars for three weeks. Governor Ige also reinstated the mandatory quarantine for interisland travel, with some confusing exemptions.
Bruce also talks about the fact that no matter what government does, supply and demand for Hawaii travel is changed irrevocably. Our hosts talk about “travel bubbles” and “geo-fencing” technologies that are hoped to help Hawaii reopen to tourism.
Bruce talks about the two types of visitors that HVCB is hoping to attract back to Hawaii. The first is the “respectful visitor”, the people who regard Hawaii’s unique people, folkways, and pristine natural resources with reverence. Basically, visitors who understand the “Aloha Spirit”. The other type HVCB is focused on is the “return visitor”, those who have come to love the Islands through previous visits. Bruce also notes the kind of message we can expect to come out of HVCB in the weeks to come.
Yaling makes the point that although the future of Hawaii tourism is uncertain the Aloha Spirit remains, and that is what Hawaii Aloha Travel hopes to share with visitors.