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Rising oil prices, airfares aren’t slowing tourism arrivals to Hawaii ― at least not yet

Experts say despite the prediction of higher airline fares, the war in Ukraine may actually push more visitors to Hawaii.
Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 1:37 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 14, 2022 at 4:45 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Experts say despite the prediction of higher airline fares, the war in Ukraine may actually push more visitors to Hawaii.

Aviation experts warn that the high price of oil caused by the conflict in Ukraine will not only the price at the pump, but the cost of trips to and from the islands.

“The war is now accelerating, you don’t know what is going to happen next,” said Jerry Agrusa, University of Hawaii travel professor.

Agrusa said there is a lot of uncertainty about the future and lot of folks are canceling their trips to Europe.

“Everybody, especially coming from Asia that was going to go to Europe, they canceled a trip,” Agrusa said.

But it doesn’t seem like the rising costs of jet fuel are preventing too many folks from coming here.

“We really haven’t seen a drop at all. In fact, we had some of our best numbers this past weekend, almost rivaling what we got in 2019,” said Mufi Hannemann, the President and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association.

Experts said that Hawaii is looking like a better destination for people planning a vacation.

“I think that people that were planning to go to Europe, for April, and May, they just said, no, let’s find another nice destination,” said Agrusa. “And we have one of the nicest places on Earth, we do have the best weather on Earth. And we’re just going to get more and more tourists.”

According to the Consumer Price Index, airline ticket fares were up 12% in February compared to a year ago. But experts warn the war in Ukraine could raise the prices even more.

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