This week, I’ve had plenty of guests express to me that they contemplated canceling their trip to the Big Island because of the volcanic activity. “The news had me thinking that the entire island was about to be covered in lava and ash!” said a woman visiting from New York. “I almost canceled our trip.” she continued. It was a good thing that she decided to contact the Kona hotel, that she booked with. They informed her that Hawaii Island is big, and the volcano, as well as the new fissures are about 100 miles away and that she would be in no danger of lava on her trip.
On May 3rd, Kilauea began spitting out lava from new vents forming in the middle of a Southern East coast subdivision, Leilani Estates. This news, as I mentioned in last week’s blog, has been extremely sensationalized. This fear-based news coverage has caused many people to cancel their trips to the Big Island. Bookings for hotels, tours, and other activities have experienced a 50% decline. Tally up the costs, May-July, to the tune of 5 million dollars!
Perhaps now would be a good time to take advantage of great deals, as airlines and business would like everyone to know that most of the island is not threatened by the lava flow.
“Travelers can enjoy their vacation experience in the Hawaiian Islands to the fullest, with the only word of caution being that they stay out of areas closed to the public for their own safety.”
-George D. Szigeti, president, and CEO of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
Tourism is one of Hawaii’s biggest industries and a big part of the local economy. Yes, lava is flowing. Yes, structures (including about 27 homes) have been destroyed. The mainstream national news would have you believe that it is the entire State and not a remote area of The BIG Island. There are thousands of people still arriving at Kona and Hilo airports and enjoying this beautiful island. Today people; swam with dolphins in the pristine blue water, went on deep ocean fishing expeditions, hiked amazing trails, and enjoyed the amenities of world-class resorts. The Hilton Waikoloa Village has been operating at about full capacity since the eruption. The Hilton, just as the other breathtaking hotels of the Kohala coast, is not affected by the current volcanic activity. Now, if you booked your stay at a bed and breakfast in Leilani Estates or the surrounding area, yes, you may want to reconsider. Hawi, Waimea, and Kona-Kohala are still open for you to enjoy! Hope to see you in the Kona sun!