Mainland attacks on Asians raise fears among Hawaii travelers

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The recent attacks on Asians on the mainland are making Hawaii residents uneasy.

Some are holding off from leaving Hawaii for now, despite their desire to travel.

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A travel expert says the fear is definitely real. On the other hand, it could encourage more mainland travelers who are Asian to come to Hawaii.

The attacks in New York City, San Francisco and the shooting spree in Atlanta are raising concerns for some Hawaii residents planning to visit the mainland.

“We actually have something sort of kind of planned in June but it’s still not definite yet it’s a topic that is a concern,” said Ewa Beach resident Karen Trinidad.

“Personally, just thinking about it it kind of makes me worried, but I try not to think about it that much. But going forward, I pray we can do something more about it,” said William, whose girlfriend is visiting Florida.

University of Hawaii travel industry management professor Jerry Agrusa says the concerns are being raised all over social media as well as in his own home. His wife is flying to visit family and has a layover in San Francisco.

“She was very hesitant to have to fly through and stay overnight to continue on to her flight to Thailand. So I think that there is, I think that it’s out there,” said Agrusa.

He points out that the acts of violence do not make much sense to most people — the randomness also adds to the fear.

“Not understanding why. If they were being robbed for money or jewelry or something like this, it’s not right but there’s some reason behind it. When it’s senseless, it makes people much much more on edge,” said Agrusa.

He says this will emphasize the safety that Hawaii has always offered to visitors.

“We’re known as a relaxed destination and we really have limited violence here compared to other major cities. So I think that it can benefit us,” said Agrusa.

He adds that more people should travel in groups, especially senior citizens. Another precautionary step is to have a travel guide when out and about.

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