Kahului Airport: May 29, 2021. Photo by JD Pells

Hawai’i Lodging & Tourism Association President and CEO Mufi Hannemann responded today to an announcement by Governor David Ige that non-essential travel to the state may resume from November 1. According to HLTA, the announcement was made during a joint media appearance at the opening of the new international terminal at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport in Keāhole.

“The local tourism industry is excited that Governor Ige signaled today that he is ready to welcome non-essential travelers back to Hawaii on November 1st, based on input from the county mayors and information from the healthcare and business sectors – this announcement is an important first step to get our economy going again safely and sensibly, ”said Hannemann.

On August 23, Governor Ige urged Hawaii residents and visitors to Delay unnecessary trips by the end of October 2021 due to the accelerated surge in COVID-19 cases, which he believed was a strain on the state’s health facilities and resources.

“We also commend Mayor Roth for making it clear that we want healthy, vaccinated travelers to return to Hawaii as soon as possible. The November 1st schedule is something that the HLTA and our nationwide coalition of representatives from tourism, hospitality, retail, land and air transport, unions and chambers of commerce have been pushing for from the start – in our discussions with the governor and in a Letter to him – and we are happy that he is bearing fruit, ”said Hannemann.

“We look forward to working with Governor Ige and his administration to send a clear message to potential travelers that Hawaii is open to business and trips can be booked with confidence again,” he said.


The Hawai’i Lodging & Tourism Association is the state’s largest private organization representing hotels, condominiums, timeshares, other accommodation companies, suppliers, and related companies and individuals with tourism ties. The HLTA aims to support the hospitality industry through education, policies, and membership benefits, and to raise awareness of its contributions across the state.


The graphic below was produced by the County Office of Economic Development as part of its monthly report on economic indicators. The data shows that Maui County’s air visitor arrivals in August were near pre-pandemic levels. The data was released at the end of September and the next monthly indicator report with the September figures will be released at the end of this month. It does not reflect the impact of the governor’s request for travel delay, as the period shown in the graph represents the period prior to the announcement.

Monthly economic indicators are provided as a public service by the Maui Mayor’s Office for Economic Development and in partnership with the Hawaii Business Research Library. Source: Hawaii Department of Labor & Industrial Relations; Hawaii Tax Agency; Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; District building departments; Labor Statistics Office; Honolulu Brokerage Committee, Hawaii Information Service; Hawaii and Realtors® Association of Maui, Inc .; Title Guarantee; American Automobile Association; Gas stations on Kauaʻi, Molokaʻi & Lānaʻi. Final tables compiled by Statistics & Data Support Branch, READ, DBEDT. Charts compiled by the Hawaii Business Research Library.