Travel officials work on messaging campaign to inform visitors of state rules

Coronavirus

Officials in the tourism industry have about a month to prepare a communication plan for out-of-state visitors to inform them of the changes to the quarantine rules, as the state moves forward with plans to get visitors tested for COVID-19 before they visit.

Hawaii tourists will have the option to get COVID-19 tested and avoid a 14-day quarantine.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority, President CEO, Chris Tatum told the state House Select Committee on COVID-19 members they are partnering with the Hawaii Visitors & Conventions Bureau to prepare a marketing campaign geared towards visitors.

“They need to know they got to get a test before they come and if they do that and they do the right process, they’re going have a phenomenal time,” Tatum said. “If they don’t they’re going to be sitting in their hotel room twiddling their thumbs.”

Tatum said they do not want visitors to come to Hawaii and quarantine, instead, a negative test result would allow them to roam freely and help stimulate the state’s economy.

He said the marketing campaign will also include the state’s safety measures that have helped maintain a lower COVID-19 case count.

Tatum said, “Residents have done the social distancing and they did the correct hygiene, so we are going sharing and asking the visitors to do exactly the same thing.”

The full communication details will be finalized soon, although they plan to share the message through various media.

“It has to be through airlines, public relations, travel trade, hotels,” Tatum said. “We’ll use our websites and then we’ll do some paid social media.”

The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, President and CEO, Sherry Manor-McNamara, said the campaign should also focus on helping local businesses.

A recent survey conducted by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization in partnership with the Chamber found business owners in Hawaii, Maui and Kauai Counties were most impacted by the pandemic.

Menor-McNamara said, “We hope that as visitors come, part of the messaging is to support local and to support our small business community because they are the livelihood of  communities and they can get a taste of Hawaii as well.”

The state representatives emphasized the need to have clear communication with visitors, they want to avoid instances where people break the law and claim not to know the rules.

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