Reopening Hawaii may be good for tourism. Is it good for the locals?


Mr McMillan added that he believed that “in some markets, especially for international travel, until a vaccine is more widely available, testing will become part of the norm.”

For Jonathan McManus, the owner of the Wailea Relais & Chateaux hotel in Maui, the tests present a way to safely reopen after months of transporting an empty property. He says this will allow him to keep employees in jobs.

“What the data suggests so far is that here in Hawaii, testing has been key to a safe reopening,” he said. “We now understand the data and the importance of testing. The tests offer a high level of protection to visitors, staff and residents. “

The hotel used to have an in-person greeting process that included staff putting leis on guests upon arrival and checking them in with a cocktail in hand. From now on, a key awaits customers on their arrival and the capacity is capped at 60%. Each of the hotel’s 72 suites has its own heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

Gary Moore, managing director of Timbers Kauai in Hokuala, said the reopening was “anything but clear,” but what is clear is, “We have to find a way to live with the disease.” Mr Moore said that despite various challenges, the lessons learned at his property about distancing people, applying masks, checking temperatures and even separating clients and putting them in “bubbles” could be applied in other complexes.

“The resort bubble would allow guests to leave their rooms and enjoy on-site amenities while completing mandatory quarantine while wearing GPS-monitored bracelets,” he said, noting that if Hawaii reinstated mandatory quarantine for all travelers, these bubbles would make it possible. to keep the station operational for inter-island travel and for locals.

Timbers’ staff is made up of locals and their safety is key, Moore said.

“Our employees are coming home, many have large families and they are with their parents, grandparents and children, and ensuring their safety is essential to the well-being of everyone,” he said.


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