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When will tourism in Hawaii reopen? One expert predicts it might not be until 2021

Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 4:36 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 3, 2020 at 4:39 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The trans-Pacific quarantine rules for travelers to Hawaii remains in effect until at least Oct. 1, but one travel expert thinks that will be pushed back again.

CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg said he believes the state’s tourism industry is unlikely to reopen for several months. “I’m not expecting the islands to open up until January,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg, speaking in a Facebook Live forum Thursday, thinks that biggest lobbyist behind a potential delay is coming from an sector of the industry you might not expect: Hawaii’s hotels.

“Because they don’t want to open at 20% occupancy, that’s financially unsustainable for them,” Greenberg said.

Peter Greenberg's Global Travel Update - September 3, 2020

Join me as I discuss the latest in global travel news and answer your questions.

Posted by Peter Greenberg on Thursday, September 3, 2020

Greenburg’s prediction is undoubtedly discouraging to thousands of laid off workers in Hawaii eagerly awaiting the return of tourism.

Gov. David Ige has extended the 14-day mandatory quarantine for all trans-Pacific travelers through September as the state continues to see a surge in COVID-19 cases — and as officials work to hammer out the details of how a visitor testing program will work.

The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, meanwhile, has already predicted that visitor arrivals to Hawaii would end the year down 72% from 2019.

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