HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mufi Hannemann says tourism is the economic glue that holds Honolulu together.
If elected as mayor, he says he will do everything he can to bring it back and create a more resilient and sustainable visitor industry.
He also says as someone who used to run Honolulu Hale, he is prepared to hit the ground running on day one.
Here are some of the questions he took on in our interview:
- What has it been like for you to see Waikiki empty?
It just breaks my heart each and everyday. The longer we are delayed from opening in a safe way, more people are worried about whether they will get their health benefits maintained. Those who are not working know that unemployment checks run out in July. So it’s a difficult time - we are hoping our leaders will see fit to open us up in a safe way.
- Do you think that the government system of testing, contact tracing and screening is enough for safe tourism?
There’s nothing that is a 100 percent guaranteed we know that. A lot of that is for optics, a lot of that will ensure that people know that when we say we want safe and healthy travelers here, that we are taking the necessary steps such as testing and screening. The longer we delay from opening, it’s just going to cause more hurt. And I said this from the beginning - if you think getting through the pandemic was difficult, getting back on the path of economic recovery is much for daunting.