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Tourism to Hawaii has accelerated as spring break begins.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is screening more and more passengers traveling through airports, many of whom are traveling to Hawaii. The state reported that it welcomed 28,424 people on Saturday alone.
Jack Richards, President and CEO of Pleasant Holidays, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that bookings have increased by 30 percent.
"We haven't seen travel demand for Hawaii this strong for over a year," Richards said.
Richards noted that COVID-19 testing and an increase in vaccinations around the country have led to the surge.
Hawaii's Safe Travels program requires visitors to Hawaii undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing, and the Islands have seen an uptick in travel since this program began, eliminating previous quarantine requirements that were in place to protect local residents. However, January and February tourism rates only picked up moderately in comparison to March numbers.
Richards noted that the recovery has been much faster than anticipated.
"I thought we would have a U-shaped recovery; it's V-shaped. January and February were terrible, but we've gone from zero to 150 mph in two weeks," he said.
The vast majority of the increase in the number of visitors appeared to be from spring breakers.
There are also discussions regarding a vaccine passport for travel to Hawaii. It appears that CommonPass may be helping develop this technology for the state in order to streamline travel for vaccinated individuals and for travelers complying with COVID-19 testing requirements.
Janeen Christoff caught the travel bug while living in London, England. After two years on the road, she settled in Los Angeles...
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