As Kilauea settles, Kohala resorts 100 miles away focus on getting back visitors

As Kilauea settles, Kohala resorts 100 miles away focus on getting back visitors

KILAUEA VOLCANO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - For more than a week now, it seems that Madame Pele has taken a break.

No major rumbling has been recently reported at Kilauea, no new lava is flowing in the Lower East Rift Zone, and there's just a small crusted over pond of lava in the fissure 8 cone.

Now that activity is slowing (at least for now), resorts on the Big Island's Kohala coast have begun shifting their attention to gaining back some much needed business

The Kohala Coast resorts have lost millions since stories about lava flows and lava bombs went national. The association started a public relations campaign to overcome visitor fears about the volcano.

In the campaign, they target potential visitors to Hawaii Island with the slogan, "Hawaii Island is bigger than you know." It's meant to educate tourists on the distance of the resorts from the lava disaster zone.

"For instance, if you have an East Coast visitor and if I say, 'Well it's about the distance from New York City to Philadelphia, that puts it into a context, they will understand. And that's what we try to communicate," Patrick Fitzgerald of the Kohala Coast Resort Association said.

Kohala, over 100 miles away, is probably one of the farthest points on Hawaii Island one can get from the volcano.

The resorts are also using social media, especially Instagram, to send daily messages of clear skies and beautiful ocean scenes to re-assure potential visitors.

Although the new push to attract visitors comes during a lull in volcanic activity, scientists say it's too soon to tell if the break is temporary or long-term.

They say if fissure 8 does erupt more again, lava could head in new directions.

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