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Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:03 — 16.7MB)
Aloha Bruce looks into some recent news about Hawaii tourism, and the soaring demand for travel to Hawaii. Bruce notes that the huge demand caused the data system at Hawaiian Airlines to crash a couple of days ago, rendering the airline unable to book any travelers and forcing the airline to issue a public apology for the failure.
Bruce also discusses the fact that Hawaii’s masking mandates remain in place despite the CDC recently saying that vaccinated individuals can remove their masks in most circumstances. Bruce says that Hawaii is quite conservative in matters of public safety and that masking will remain the norm in Hawaii. “Masks were no big deal, to begin with here,” says Bruce.
Bruce talks briefly about a recent trip to Kakaako in Honolulu and a Korean-style market called H-Mart with an excellent food court and specialty spots, including the now-famous Giovanni’s Shrimp.
Bruce moves on to address the high demand and low supply of rental vehicles. Bruce mentions a recent booking for a couple for New York City who weren’t bothered by the lack of rental cars because they live in the city and don’t even have a driver’s license! Bruce explains the difference between Hawaii Aloha Travel and so-called “influencers” seeking publicity as Hawaii experts. “I’m really just trying to help people book a Hawaii vacation.”
The topic moves to the entrance of Southwest Airlines into the Hawaii market in 2018, during a time when interisland travel saw some major changes and the loss of Aloha Air and other charter carriers. Bruce says that Southwest entering the market has made for more competitive pricing. The launch was met with equipment failures and pandemic issues, Bruce says, and has done a good job of adapting and will launch a series of new Hawaii routes from a variety of mainland cities in June and September. With his typical real talk, Bruce says, “You’ve got to give them their props!”
Bruce shares some recent booking deals through Southwest and Hilton Hawaiian Village that includes a rental car. Another package for three at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotels through Southwest is noted, as well as a high-end 5-star honeymoon package Bruce worked out for a couple from Boston at the Maunalani Resort on the building. While spendy, the package includes a rental car and travel insurance.