Hawaii hopes for a rebound in tourism when the state welcomes visitors again on Monday

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Visitor industry leaders have said that leisure travel to the Hawaiian Islands opens Monday, November 1, don’t expect to see hotels and beaches inundated with customers yet. It will take some time for the momentum to return to what it once was.

“We see it now in canceled cancellations and bookings made, but again, it’s going to take time because we’re not going to see a major turnaround until maybe the end of November, until December during peak season. holidays, ”said Mufi Hannemann, president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association.

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Travel experts expect low hotel and airfare prices to hold up as demand catches up, giving Kama’aina a chance to take advantage of the deals.

“You can still see a $ 99 offer from Hawaiian Airlines, which you never would have seen in history in November to travel all the way to the first quarter,” said Vikram Singh, hotel analyst at Vikram Singh LLC. “In the first quarter, we have traditionally kept higher rates; we don’t really do that because hotels always struggle to build a base and airlines always struggle to sell the over $ 500 round trip to Los Angeles.

Lack of demand and COVID restrictions continue to prevent industry workers from returning to work.

“The food and drink side, the convention side, the large gatherings, the banquets, the weddings all could not have worked as we would have liked to have seen them work. This will take some time to ramp up. “

Mufi Hannemann, President and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association

The restaurant industry doesn’t expect a huge rush. They were slammed in the summer of 2021 with long lines and waiting times. Restaurants, like Duke’s Waikiki, haven’t forgotten the locals. They want to make sure that they too are enjoying a piece of paradise.

“We have kama’aina slots that I think sometimes people don’t know or maybe don’t think and ask,” said Dylan Ching, vice president of TS Restaurants. “I think it’s always worth asking because we’re definitely committed to it and want to make sure our locals feel they at least have a better chance of getting a reservation – at least with us.”

It will be a long road to recovery, but the tourism industry is ready to move.

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“If we can make sure that the dollars are flowing through the economy – small businesses, large businesses, and mid-sized businesses – that’s what keeps the economic engine we have here in the state continuing to thrive,” he said. Hannemann added.


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