Hawaii Tourism Authority appeal to visitors: Don’t cancel your Hawaiian vacation!


Visit Hawaii now! The Aloha State is open for business. Hawaii Tourism is under threat, but there has never been a better time to experience the Aloha Spirit. Jobs are depending on  Hawaii Tourism business in Hawaii, and the change from a record year to a huge loss on Hawaiian Island is forcing people to get in line for unemployment benefits.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is echoing the sense of panic among travel and tourism stakeholders on the Hawaiian Islands to see tourism arrivals disappear due to widely reported volcanic activities positioning Hawaii to be a dangerous destination to travel to. HTA says there is no reason to cancel your Hawaii vacation, even though US President Trump declared Hawaii a disaster area.

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Plumes of steam and ash are being emitted from Kīlauea summit in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. This is causing ash to fall downwind across portions of the southern district of Ka‘ū. Ash is currently being reported along Highway 11 to the town of Pāhala.

• Avoid excessive exposure to ash which is an eye and respiratory irritant.

• Those with breathing issues should take extra precaution to minimize exposure.

• Motorists are advised to drive with caution.

• All roads in this area are open at this time. For a guide on volcanic ash click here.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority is appealing to those wanting to visit Hawaii

• There is absolutely no reason at this time for travelers to change or alter their leisure or business plans.

• None of the Hawaiian Islands are affected by Kīlauea volcano except a remote area on the island of Hawai‘i’s east side (see attached map of affected area) and the Kīlauea Summit. Out of the island’s 4,028 square miles, only a remote area of less than 10 square miles is affected – Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivisions in Puna. As a precautionary measure, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (some 40 miles away) has been closed indefinitely as a precaution should a steam explosion occur in the crater.

• Air Access: All flights into Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keāhole – KOA (west) and Hilo International Airport – ITO (east) are operating normally.

• Accommodations and Activities: All accommodations, activities, and attractions on the island are also operating normally, with the exception of those in the area affected by the lava activity.

• Air Quality: Air quality on the island of Hawai‘i remains largely unchanged with this situation. However, air quality near where the volcanic activity is occurring can be hazardous (SO2-sulfur dioxide) and light ash fall may be present, and officials are continuing to monitor air quality.


Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.