Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) has lauded the state’s decision to lift COVID-19 restrictions that have prevented large group gatherings, effective 1 December 2021.
Hawaii Governor David Ige and Hawaii’s Mayors announced the winding back of many pandemic restrictions from mid-next week, signalling that Hawaii is once again open for business.
“These steps serve to revitalise our visitor industry at an appropriate time, with our state’s vaccination rate ranked among the highest in the nation, coupled with the health safeguards for domestic travellers that are required by Hawaii’s Safe Travels program.
“The modified federal restrictions on international arrivals and the continuation of Hawaii’s indoor mask mandate provide additional safeguards,” said John De Fries, HTA President and Chief Executive Officer.
Additionally, Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said the city would lift capacity limits and social distancing requirements for events on Oahu, a key to resuming meetings and conventions at the Hawaii Convention Center and various resort properties.
“Capacity restrictions being lifted for events on Oahu is welcomed news for Hawaii’s meetings, conventions and incentives market and the Hawaii Convention Center, as it will allow us to retain group bookings and secure new group business,” De Fries said.
“The announcement gives meeting planners added confidence to book events and reassure attendees they will have a safe and memorable visit here in the Hawaiian Islands.”
De Fries continued: “Today’s announcements are another welcomed sign of Hawaii’s recovery, allowing businesses to return to full capacity, resulting in a better experience for visitors and local residents alike.”
Locally, Jennifer Gaskin, Account Director, Hawaii Tourism Oceania said: “We couldn’t be more excited to see Hawaii reopen and lift restrictions for travellers. Hawaii and Oceania have always had a close bond and we can’t wait to welcome back our Oceania ʻohana to The Hawaiian Islands.”
Hawaiian Airlines will resume flights between Honolulu and Sydney next month, with five weekly services starting 15 December 2021.
Lead image: Waikiki, Honolulu | Credit: Zetong Li Hila/Unsplash