Tourists Say They'll Return - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Tourists Say They'll Return

by Kristine Uyeno

WAIKIKI (KHNL) -- Sunday's earthquake and power outage not only affected hundreds of thousands of residents but many tourists as well.

So how did hotels take care of the visitors and will they return?

"We've got plans in place for tsunamis, earthquakes, for medical emergencies, for terrorism," said Rex Johnson with the Hawaii Tourism Authority.

Johnson is referring to an official state response to an emergency. But on Sunday, those plans weren't followed.

"It wasn't on a large enough scale to set up a communications center and do those types of things," he said.

But Waikiki hotels have their own emergency plans, which include evacuations. But for the most part, customers stayed where they were. Hotels like the Sheraton and Hyatt handed out food and water. They also gave people who were forced to stay longer, a discounted room rate.

But if the earthquake had caused major damage on Oahu, tourism officials say they would've done things differently and that means, evacuating Waikiki.

"And after that, it's to get things up and running, electrical systems, airports, all those types of things, clear the roads so people can move around," said Johnson.

The big question is has this event hurt Hawaii's reputation? The people we talked to say, it hasn't.

"You can't stop an earthquake from happening," said one tourist from Connecticut.

"We definitely want to come back, " said a couple from Texas.

And just to ensure they they do return, tourism officials are shooting video of the state, mostly of the Big Island.

Within 24 hours, they'll send that video to major cities across the Mainland to show them Hawaii is back up and running and still a good destination.

Powered by Frankly