On this September 19, 2021, episode of the Hawaii Vacation Connection Podcast, Aloha Bruce discusses a recent news article that looks into the impact of a tourism slowdown in Hawaii, which affects not just visitors but the Hawaii hotels and businesses that serve them. Bruce also shares some personal insight into the historic Ka Iwi Coastline on Oahu (his neighborhood), and some recent bookings made with Hawaii Aloha Travel.
Bruce shares some reaction to the previous podcast episode that covered must-try Hawaii foods. Bruce says he recently ordered a celebratory “Loco Moco Plate Lunch” from Jack’s Restaurant in East Honolulu. The gravy, he says, is sublime. He also mentions the Thai Valley Cuisine restaurant in Hawaii Kai, which is relatively unknown but has amazing menu offerings. “It’s, I think, the best Thai food in Hawaii.” More food stuff is to come in future episodes of the podcast.
He also notes that the podcast will be taking a break for one week as he travels to California and encourages listeners to reach out with dining suggestions and offers. Have appetite, will travel! “I’m on tour!” Bruce says, noting that he will be traveling to Las Vegas as well, for his beloved NFL Miami Dolphin game against the Las Vegas Knights.
Bruce says that the recent news article describes the story of a family that cancelled a Hawaii vacation due to COVID. The family was unable to get a refund from their vacation rental, and Bruce makes the important point that illegal vacation rentals are seeing a crackdown recently. He notes that HAT’s Waikiki vacation rental condos are completely legal.
Another family who had been planning a Hawaii vacation for years was unable to get a refund for most of the lodging and activities they had booked. Governor Ige’s recent plea to postpone Hawaii travel has had a major impact on countless families and businesses in Hawaii. Bruce reads the feedback, quoting some harsh criticism of Ige and says, “You can’t win!”
“It just blows my mind,” Bruce says of anti-vax sentiments. Even the beloved Jack’s Restaurant has had to turn away angry customers who could not provide vaccination/negative test verification. Speaking further about the news article, Bruce says, “We would be in a much better position if everybody just got vaccinated.”
Bruce moves on to suggest that head out to the Ka Iwi Coast, a beautiful natural area that encompasses Hanauma Bay, the Koko Crater hiking trail, and the Koko Crater Botanical Garden. HAT’s Secret Hawaii Tours can take you there. “It’s absolutely amazing,” Bruce says. There are several hikes for people of various skill levels along the Ka Iwi Coast, accessible by trolley from Waikiki.
When it comes to cancelling a Hawaii vacation due to COVD concerns, Bruce says that you can come here and be safe. Especially if you’re vaccinated. “I am not telling people not to come here. You can come here and still be mindful.”
Bruce moves on to discuss several new tour bookings, even into next year. He notes a couple that had a multi-island boat cruise cancelled, and he put together a multi-island vacation with tours planned that do not require a rental vehicle. “They’re going First Class!” for 10 nights and “they’re really happy”.
He also mentions a $5300 package for two from JFK airport in New York, and several others that include an all-inclusive package for a family group from Dallas on two islands that was extremely reasonable. Hawaii is open to travel, and HAT can make your dream Hawaii vacation come to life.