The call has gone out from the Hawaii Tourism Authority that the destination remains “open for business” in response to fears the volcanic activity in an isolated corner on the island of Hawaii has deterred travellers.
The organisation issued a statement late on Friday saying there was “absolutely no reason for visitors planning a trip to the Hawaiian Islands to change or alter their leisure or business travel plans”.
That statement has been further backed by the Governor of Hawaii, David Ige, who this morning reiterated that “Travel is safe to the Hawaiian Islands”. His remark comes as footage shows lava flowing, new fissures opening and ash plumes at the Kīlauea volcano on the Big Island.
“We have a skilled contingent of scientists, geologists, meteorologists and health experts whose work is being supported around the clock by emergency officials and law enforcement personnel from federal, state and county agencies. They are continuously scrutinising the activity within Kīlauea volcano and providing clear, carefully thought-out advice with the purpose of keeping the public safe and informed,” Ige said.
“This is a time to listen to the experts on site and to trust what they are reporting and recommending. The experts are telling us there is no danger from the eruptions to anyone outside the areas that have been evacuated. There is no threat of a tsunami. Air quality is being closely studied and is of most concern in the immediate area inside where the volcanic activity is taking place,” the Hawaii Governor added.
Ige said visitors to Hawaii “can be assured that the volcanic activity is having no effect whatsoever on the other islands, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kauai”.
“Visitors can book their trips comfortable in the knowledge that their vacation experience will provide all the enjoyment they expect when coming to our beautiful islands,” Governor Ige added.
“All of Hawaii is open for business and welcoming visitors with the hospitality, aloha, warmth and picturesque settings visitors seek in our islands. This includes Hilo, Pahoa and the Kona and Kohala coasts on the island of Hawaii. The one area that people need to avoid is lower Puna where the eruption is ongoing.”
Hawaii Tourism Authority president and CEO George D. Szigeti added that travel to and within the Hawaiian Islands is unimpeded by Kilauea volcano.
“Summer is just a couple of weeks away and there is no reason for travellers to delay in booking their vacation plans. The number of flights serving Hawaii has never been greater and there is an abundance of choices for travellers to select in choosing the accommodations and activities they want to enjoy in the Hawaiian Islands,” Szigeti said.
To put Kīlauea’s volcanic eruptions into perspective, Garmin mapping has a tool which isolates specifically where the seismic activity is occurring in relation to the rest of the Hawaiian Islands. Below are a series of images pinpointing the location of Kilauea. Learn more here.
Stay up to date with the latest information on the Kilauea situation at http://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/news/special-alert/