It’s back to work Thursday for hotel workers who’d been on strike for 51 days before the two sides finally reached an agreement. Many are glad the strike is over before December, a high season for travel to Hawaii.
Businesses sandwiched between the Westin Moana Surfrider and Sheraton Princess Kaiulani tell us when picketers took to the streets, foot traffic was lost.
“Having people outside the door from sunrise to past sunset certainly changed the atmosphere outside the door. It was very loud and maybe a little less welcoming to visitors walking by,” said Bikeadelic Owner Travis Counsell.
The banging and chanting didn’t help either.
“It was kind of noisy so it was hard to talk to people and glad it’s over. Glad they got what they wanted but it definitely affected us a little bit slower than usual,” said Go Hawaii Tours Marketing Agent Brandon Kauhaihao.
Businesses we spoke to say they’re glad the strike ended when it did before Christmas and before another major event the Honolulu Marathon, which is less than two weeks away.
UH Associate Professor of Travel Industry Management Dr. Jerry Agrusa tells us what businesses experienced during the strike are short-term impacts. Long-term is the visitors’ impressions of Hawaii as a whole.
“They get there and there’s no housekeeping or room service and so on. They come back and they say you know I didn’t get my value for my dollar from Hawaii.T hey don’t make it specific to the hotel that was on strike, they make it as a whole,” said Dr. Agrusa.
Dr. Agrusa hopes the tourism industry will continue to do well because Hawaii has a lot to offer.
“This is one of the reasons why I believe tourism has been on a record trajectory for the last five years,” said Dr. Agrusa.