In Hawaii, Reimagining Tourism for a Post-Pandemic World

In Hawaii, Reimagining Tourism for a Post-Pandemic World

Before the pandemic, the crowds that flocked to Diamond Head State Monument (above) had a negative effect on both the surrounding community and the visitors themselves. Hawaii is now reevaluating visitation levels and entrance procedures. Before Covid, ‘tourism was at this point where everything was about tourists.’ With the one-year anniversary of travel’s collapse, the state, like other overtouristed places, is hoping for a reset. For a visitor who was on the island of Oahu in 2019 when a record 10.4 million people visited Hawaii, returning to Honolulu nearly a year after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic is breathtaking. At Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, souvenir shops and nearly all food vendors have closed. In neighborhoods around the state’s capital, restaurants and bars, tour operators and travel agencies have shuttered permanently, and many that remain appear to be shells of the popular jaunts they were before the pandemic. Hotels with skeleton staffs. No tourist-filled buses blocking the entrances to attractions. Plenty of room to move on sidewalks without bumping shoulders. Meanwhile, the state continues to solidify its reopening procedures …
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