Media release | Hawaii Tourism Authority
The Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) is very concerned for the people of Japan and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time. Our focus right now is on assisting the people of Japan and their country in their recovery efforts after this tragedy. Our community has truly come together – from the visitor industry, to small businesses, to our government officials. We are seeing, first-hand, the power of the Aloha spirit and how our people are what makes Hawai’i truly special.
As Hawai’i’s response efforts have moved forward, we have received numerous requests for information on the situation. And we will issue updates as we receive them.
The following is an update as of March 14, 2011 (3:50 pm HST):
· A key priority is supporting our visitors from Japan in their efforts to return home safely. Our industry partners, including air carriers, tour operators, hotel operators and wholesalers are assisting travelers affected by flight delays or cancellations, or who wish to change their travel plans.
· All passengers displaced by the tsunami due to cancelled flights should be returning to Japan by tomorrow (Tuesday, March 15). To accommodate passengers, Delta Airlines, Japan Airlines and China Airlines have added additional seat capacity and flights.
· All major travel companies are working with their customers to accommodate their various inquiries.
· There was minimal impact to Hawai’i’s statewide visitor infrastructure. The Island of Hawai’i was most affected, but as of today, most businesses are operating as usual. Please visit gohawaii.com/big-island and all island chapter websites for the latest updates.
· There have been some cancellations for travel to Hawai’i from Japan and HTA is continuing to monitor bookings to determine the level of impact.
· The Honolulu Festival was a great success over the past weekend. It was very heartwarming to see the people of Hawai’i coming together to express their support for the people of Japan.
· HTA has developed a 9-point plan in response to the earthquake and tsunami:
1. Convey our heartfelt aloha and support to the people of Japan
2. Make sure visitors from Japan who were stranded get home
3. Support visitor needs while they remain in Hawaii
4. Assess the impact on the Japan market
5. Develop and execute new plans
6. Maintain open communications with airlines, travel agents, wholesalers and other industry stakeholders
7. Coordinate with global marketing partners, including Hawai’i Tourism Japan in Tokyo
8. Coordinate with Governor Neil Abercrombie, Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz, travel agencies, travel partners, Hawai’i’s business leaders, community leaders and others on support efforts
9. Provide regular updates to industry partners and media