New campaign aims to entice visitors to the Big Island amid eruptions

New campaign aims to entice visitors to the Big Island amid eruptions

BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau has plans to launch a marketing campaign to attract visitors back to the Big Island.

The bureau's campaign will provide information on the Kilauea eruption, and suggest that now is the best time to visit the island, according to the Hawaii Tribune Herald.

Big Island businesses say they've seen a big spike in cancellations since eruptions started nearly nine weeks ago.

The head of the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau said in May that some tourist attractions have had to close their doors or layoff employees because of the drop in business.

Companies as far as 100 miles away from the volcanic activity say the spike in cancellations was sudden and unexpected. And in the small town of Volcano, which is 20 miles from Kilauea's summit, tourism has all but stopped.

Since the eruptions began on May 3, forcing thousands to evacuate and destroying as many as 671 homes, business at a Pahoa eatery has dropped nearly 75 percent.

"The tourists have all left," business owner Stephen Yundt told Hawaii News Now. "As more people keep evacuating more business is disappearing because everyone is in disaster mode."

The new campaign's message will coincide with the possible opening of a safe lava-viewing area for the public.

While officials with the visitor's bureau say they're not part of the lava-viewing plans, they think the area could attract visitors.

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