IMPACTS OF CORONA VIRUS TO TOURISM SECTOR IN HAWAII
The corona virus is a lethal virus that is spreading fast and globally. It is spread through touching the surface with the virus or touching an infected person and that is why persons are being advised to wash hands regularly by using soap and water or by using sanitizers. People are also advised to curb movements so that they can self-quarantine to avoid contracting the lethal virus. This lack of movement has affected the tousim business. And we shall see this in relation to Hawaii, USA which by 19th March, had reported 26 positive cases of the virus already with impacts of the virus are rising daily. It has a 25% decline of tourist from Asia, therefore, the Hawaiian Tourism Authority has began focusing on marketing more on the mainland to prevent what happened in 2009.
EFFECTS OF CORONAVIRUS IN HAWAII
1. INCAPACITATION OF BUSINESSES
Many areas such as Ala Moana Centre and waikiki in Hawaii which were formerly crowded now they are quite deserted. Hotels in Oahu are facing decline in occupancy at a rate of as low as 60% to 40%.
2. CLOSURE OF ATTRACTION SITES
Many attraction sites have seen closure to prevent the spread of the virus and due to the lack of tourists. The affected sites include; Waikiki Aquarium, Wet n Wild Hawaii, Tours of Kalaupapa, among many others.
3. LOSS OF JOBS
There being no tourists to spend money due to the heightened travel warnings, businesses, hotels and restaurants will make no money and as a result, they will lay off staff. Economic analysis show that as a result of covid-19, around 6000 employees will lose their jobs.
4. CANCELLATION OF MAJOR EVENTS
Chief events in Hawaii have been cancelled and this act has really affected the economic status of Hawaii. The KCC Farmers Market which takes place every Tuesday evening and Sarturday morning is among the largest also very popular. It is a place where people go to purchase locally made products and delicious meals. This acivity has been adjourned until further notice. Also, the Hapalua Half Marathon which is suppposed to be held in April in has been postponed to September.
HANDLING THE VIRUS
The county mayors of Hawaii have developed a “15-Days to Slow the Spread” plan to reduce te spread of the virus, serve the public and to maintain its usual operations by laying out the following rules which would take effects as from 7.45 am, March 20th.
- The county of Honolulu has ordered the closure of restaurants parks and etc. for indoor servicing which would take effects as from 8.30 a.m March 20th. The government has also allowed the restaurant take-out, curb side pick-up and delivery.
- The county of Kaua’i has issued an islandwide night curfew which would begin at 9 pm to 5 am. This would ensure that people remain in their rooms of residence within the stipulated time.
- In Maui, rules limiting people from gathering and preventing the movement of vehicles except for essential bussinesses, or governemnt operations were announced. Restaurants and cafes that served meals within the premises were asked to close up yet, take-outs and deliveries were allowed.
- The Hawaii county advised the restaurants, cafes and places of worship that they wouold their own choices of either to close of remain openned but ensure they have measure to minimize the spread of the virus to its consumers and employees.
The Hawaiian Department of health too has asked everyone to take this preventive measures with seriousness in an effort to ensure a safe and healthy community. Mr. Bruce, the Health Director, advised people to use technology for communication, running of meetings etc. to limit the risk of getting exposed to the virus. By doing this, one will be praticing social distancing.
The state has also launched a new website hawaiicovid19.com through which residents can get the latest news on the deadly virus, guidance on how to prevent the spread of the virus, common symptoms of the virus and also resposnding to the frequently asked questions. The Aloha United Way call centre is daily opened from 7.00 a.m to 10.00 p.m.