On this August 1, 2021 edition of the Hawaii Vacation Connection Podcast, Yaling Fisher joins Aloha Bruce to talk about the reasons why Hawaii is the #1 Tourism Destination right now. Our hosts note that amid the current boom, private, personal tours like those offered by Secret Hawaii Tours are becoming increasingly popular for visitors.
Bruce reminds listeners about COVID vaccine and testing requirements for Hawaii arrivals. Hawaii has reached a 60% vaccination rate milestone. “Just do it,” Bruce says. “Get the vaccine. It’s the easiest way to come here.”
Hawaii had over 400 cases reported in one day on July 31, the highest daily total since the beginning of the pandemic. Bruce notes that the startling number is the result of community spread and not because of high visitor arrival numbers. “You’re gonna be safe when you’re here,” Bruce says. “You just gotta be careful.” Our hosts also note that Hawaii has not yet fully reopened and discuss some of the restrictions that remain in place for restaurants and public gatherings.
Hawaii is the most popular destination in the world right now, for the simple reason that “it’s the only place that’s open”. Bruce talks about the strain on Hawaii resources, particularly on Oahu, and an effort by the Hawaii Tourism Authority to limit the number of visitors to the Aloha State. The prevailing sentiment is that if Hawaii’s residents are overwhelmed by record numbers of visitors, visitors are less likely to have a good Hawaii vacation experience.
Bruce says part of the effort to reduce visitor numbers on Oahu is to crack down on illegal vacation rentals, and re-assessing zoning and airport policies. Our hosts talk about how visitors and hosts circumvent current regulations. “I’m not sure how they’re going to stop that,” Bruce says, and he offers some of his suggestions.
The discussion moves on to the fact that once other global tourism destinations reopen in the wake of the pandemic, it will reduce the pressure currently being felt by Hawaii and its people. Bruce and Yaling talk about popular “all-inclusive packages” and Hawaii Aloha Travel’s offerings. “I think, just in general, people should be doing more guided tours,” Bruce says, tours that respect Hawaii’s people, culture, and natural resources.
Bruce also notes that visitors who have booked with Hawaii Aloha Travel have a positive experience because of the local knowledge provided by our expert, on-island professionals. “If you contact us, we’re going to be here to help you and you’re not going to be caught up in any negativity,” Bruce says. He notes that uninformed social-media-driven visitors are much more likely to stumble into a negative situation, like a young woman who recently drowned in waters off Oahu where she should most certainly not have been.
“If you have to get rescued, it costs us money to rescue you!” our hosts say, mentioning that the costs can be imposed on the rescuee.
Bruce stresses that the COVID vaccine “is a big, BIG game-changer” for Hawaii tourism. “We wouldn’t be where we are without it.”
Recent Hawaii Aloha Travel bookings are noted, including an August trip to the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani in Waikiki, and a November-December oceanfront booking at the Waikiki Beach Hotel. And advance booking for June 2022 at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel on Maui. “Get those packages locked in!” Bruce says.