Waikiki retailers prep for anticipated bump in business

Waikiki retailers prep for anticipated bump in business
Image source: Royal Hawaiian Center on Facebook

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Businesses in the heart of Hawaii’s tourism hot spot are eagerly awaiting the anticipated bump in tourists come Thursday.

It’s been seven months since tourism screeched to an abrupt halt in Waikiki. Businesses say they’re ready to welcome back the visitors.

The shops and restaurants inside the Royal Hawaiian Center have been scraping by on kamaaina customers, which still wasn’t enough for main to avoid layoffs and revenue shortfalls.

Many businesses that laid off employees are now bringing back staff and re-stocking inventory.

“Prior to the COVID virus, there’s a line out the door from 6 in the morning to 10 at night. As you can see now, we have no lines. But hopefully with the visiting restrictions lifted, we’ll be able to get it back,” Roger Tanabe, General Manager of Island Vintage Coffee, said.

During a tour of the Royal Hawaiian Center on Wednesday, staff were thoroughly cleaning all surfaces including hand rails on the escalator and menus at restaurants.

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