Get Us in Your Inbox
This issue’s cover story, "Aloha Once Again," examines the return of tourism to Hawaii, a destination beloved by travelers and travel advisors alike. Besides the obvious economic importance, the resumption of visits to the islands provides a glimpse of what the tourism experience might be like as other destinations open up.
Hawaii mandates that visitors take a pre-arrival COVID-19 test — a requirement we can expect to see in other places, as well. In addition, the destination’s resorts and activity providers have implemented a range of safety precautions designed to keep guests healthy. The goal is to protect locals from the virus, while also providing guests with the kind of experiences that make the islands so special.
“It was really terrific to be back in the state,” said Shane Nelson, author of the cover story and a former resident of Hawaii. “The smiles and the aloha were just as warm as they have always been, and I felt safe throughout. Residents are taking mask wearing seriously, which was reassuring. And all the hotels, restaurants and activities I visited went to great lengths to keep facilities clean and safe, and keep people socially distant.”
"All the hotels, restaurants and activities I visited went to great lengths to keep facilities clean and safe, and keep people socially distant."
While the reopening is bound to have its ups and downs, there is no doubt that the desire for travel is strong. One wholesaler told me, when Hawaii announced its reopening, the company saw 14,000 new bookings in one week.
Pent-up demand should be a major factor in advisors’ plans for 2021. While many places might not reopen until later in the year, advisors will want to make sure clients are ahead of the wave. Luckily, with so many companies offering “book now/pick a date later/cancel for any reason” promotions, consumers should feel comfortable making plans.
Although anticipating huge numbers of travelers may be difficult to imagine now, you should feel confident knowing that the travel wave is coming. Your job will be to help your clients ride it.