With extension of traveler quarantine, Hawaii hotels brace for an uncertain future

Fallout from the travel quarantine extension is delaying the restart of tourism

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - With tourism shut down, Hawaii hotels are losing up to $150 million a month.

And the extension of the trans-Pacific quarantine through July means they’re poised to miss out on one the most lucrative months of the year.

“It’s a very frustrating and difficult situation because July is the busiest period of the year," said former Sheraton and Starwood hotels executive Keith Vieira.

“People plan family travel. These are higher spending visitors coming to Hawaii. At this time now, they can’t do it."

Because hotels need 30 to 45 days to prepare their properties and make them safe for their customers and employees, Vieira and other tourism experts don’t see hotels restarting until the slower fall season.

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“If you want to reopen by Aug. 1, by June 15, next week Monday, you really need the governor and mayor to come out together and say OK we’re reopening on Aug. 1,” added longtime hotel industry executive Tony Vericella.

During a news conference Wednesday, Gov. David Ige didn’t give a date for when tourism to Hawaii would reopen but said it would happen as several layers of protection are put in place for travel.

He added that he’s concerned about a spike in cases in several states, including California.

“Testing, and screening and contract tracing are all of the components of a system that allow us to invite guests from out of state," said Ige.

But those systems may take months to implement.

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