Officials say marketing Hawaii to tourists will probably be different

Coronavirus

Now that Governor David Ige is re-opening Hawaii to tourism under certain conditions, how are companies going to entice people to travel to Hawaii again? The Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association President Mufi Hannemann tells us the economic road to recovery will be very long and painful, and we won’t be seeing visitor numbers like we used to any time soon. Hannemann tells us it will be up to individual hotels in terms of how much money they actually have to spend on marketing.

“But the overarching objective is to market it in a way that people know it’s a new normal here. This is a place now that really wants to re-brand itself as a very safe and healthy destination. So if you are going to come here, we want you to come here being healthy,” he said.

Expedia Group, which is a travel platform that runs sites like Expedia.com and Vrbo.com, tells us it has worked directly with Governor Ige on the 14-day quarantine and will continue to work with local government and communities on how best to get the word out.

“Now that Governor Ige has made that announcement, we stand ready to work with any locality that wants to talk about how to do this, whether it’s promoting tourism via the tools we offer or communicating with travelers about the restrictions or means in which Hawaii will open up responsibly,” said Amanda Pedigo of Expedia Group.

We also reached out to some of the airlines. Southwest tells us:

“Last month, we had set August 1 as the date we would resume our pre-COVID level of service for Hawaii and that now appears to align with the modification of restrictions for travelers inbound to the State. In addition to resuming all of our previous flying, we’ll also begin new service from Honolulu to San Diego on August 1, and we will increase our service between Honolulu and Kahului from 4 to 6 flights a day, in each direction.

All Southwest Customers receive pre-trip communication specific to their intended destination and that will include any requirements and restrictions they should know about before making the trip.
On May 1, we started communicating aggressively our Southwest Promise.”

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