Before and after

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘In Transit.’ See more responses here.

Here in Hawaii, tourism is our number one industry. In normal years, more than 30,000 visitors arrive in Hawaii every day. Currently, the number of daily arrivals is around 1,500. In this topsy-turvy world that precipitous decline is a good thing.

In the U.S., states don’t have the authority to regulate flights; that’s a federal matter. But Hawaii was able to require that people arriving in the state had to quarantine for 14 days. This effectively killed tourism. Why visit Hawaii for two weeks if you have to spend every day of that visit confined to your hotel room? This 14-day quarantine even applied to inter-island travel. Because of these restrictions, Hawaii has had a very low infection rate and very few deaths. Here on the Big Island, there have been less than 100 cases and zero deaths. Next week, the inter-island quarantine requirement will be lifted, but it will be retained until at least the end of July for visitors from out of state and abroad.

So the reason for the similar-looking photos? The top one is from a previous year and shows one of a procession of planes landing at Kona airport. The photo below shows a recent photo of a plane flying overhead, which was noteworthy because it was unusual. The planes aren’t there. The skies are quiet. Currently, the daily number of passenger flights arriving at Kona airport can be counted on one hand. The number of visitors is in the 20s or 30s. When and if those numbers return to previous levels is anybody’s guess.

7 thoughts on “Before and after

  1. naturebackin

    There are advantages to being on a island when such drastic isolation is required, and the success of the travel restrictions is remarkable. I hope that as restrictions ease there will be sufficient monitoring of travellers to reduce the potential for any outbreaks in the future. Tense times ahead but those businesses that remain potentially viable must be desperate to be able to start generating an income again …
    Wishing you all the best through the uncertainties of the weeks and months ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Graham Post author

      Our president issued guidelines for reopening things, but then immediately ignored them and urged people to restart the economy immediately. That’s led to an expected uptick in cases and the various protests have added to that. There are states reopening where their virus cases still haven’t peaked. I’ll say one thing for Hawaii, which isn’t exactly going to win any trophies for ‘Best Run State,’ but they came up with a plan and have stuck to it pretty well. The number of cases will rise, but now they’re much better equipped to deal with them.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. SandyL

    I’m curious Graham – how much of tourism is due to cruise ships? While I believe air travel will eventually resume, I wonder if the industry around cruise ships will ever rebound. There were so many horror stories of people stranded on ships during the pandemic, I think it’ll be long time, if ever, that industry recovers.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Graham Post author

      Cruise ships aren’t a huge factor here. The Big Island mostly got one ship a week, which stopped at Hilo on Tuesdays and Kona on Wednesdays. They had a significant economic impact, but much less than the thousands that fly in daily to resorts, hotels, and rentals. I agree that it will be difficult for that industry to recover, but then I’m not a cruise ship fan. I’ve been on one cruise, up the inside passage from Seattle to Alaska and wasn’t a fan. When we got to Skagway, there were four ships in and thousands of people poured into the tiny downtown area. I went for a hike into the hills around the town and saw no one else.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
      1. SandyL

        I feel the same about cruise ships. I did a similar cruise up to Alaska and that was enough. I prefer to spend time in a country & slowly appreciate the culture and people. For me, the destination is the point, not the travel to get there 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s