No need to cancel travel plans to Hawaiin Islands

No need to cancel travel plans to Hawaiian Islands

“No reason for travellers to cancel travel plans to any Hawaiian Island,” says HTA’s George Szigeti in wake of Dengue Fever state of emergency proclamation.

With the constant influx of reports on the Zika virus and its complications surfacing through a barrage of media channels, news of the Dengue Fever outbreak on Hawaii Island may be putting many Hawaii travellers and potential travellers into a tailspin.

With a state of emergency declared by the County of Hawaii for Hawaii Island on Feb. 8, agents and their clients might assume travelling to the Aloha State may no longer be safe, but with no travel advisory issued for any Hawaiian Island and no acquired cases confirmed on any other island outside the Big Island, the Hawaii Tourism Authority is assuring travellers that it is just as safe to visit Hawaii as it has always been.

“I want to emphasize to our visitor industry partners and to travellers planning a trip to Hawaii that nothing has changed from before,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO, Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA). “The [state of emergency proclamation] enables the State of Hawaii to take steps to prevent an emergency from occurring and does not mean a state of emergency exists.”

If your clients are considering cancelling their trip to Hawaii or opting to travel to another destination because of Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi’s state of emergency proclamation, sharing this further statement from Szigeti may help steer them back to their original Hawaii plans.
“There is no reason for travellers or business groups to cancel their travel plans to any of the Hawaiian Islands. No travel advisories have been issued for Hawaii by any health organization. We encourage travellers to have confidence in booking a trip to Hawaii and look forward to welcoming them with aloha.”

Released earlier this month, Szigeti explained that Kenoi’s state of emergency proclamation was declared purely for strategic purposes in order to speed up efforts to eradicate the disease.

“Travellers should not be alarmed by the County of Hawaii’s state of emergency declaration for Hawaii Island. This declaration is a good strategic move by the County of Hawaii, as it will provide government officials with additional funding and resources to eliminate Dengue Fever from Hawaii Island.” Szigeti also added that it is “important to note that no health organization has advised against travelling to the Hawaiian Islands at any time since the outbreak of dengue fever began on Hawaii Island.”

As of this writing the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) has issued no new cases of Dengue Fever since the HTA released information on the 255 non-infectious confirmed cases on Feb. 9. As of Feb. 17 the HDOH has confirmed a total of 232 cases on Hawaii Island, 24 of which are visitors and only one case that is still potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All other cases are no longer considered infectious.

Szigeti has also stated that the outbreak of Dengue Fever has been confined to more rural areas.

“Most of the Dengue Fever cases on Hawaii Island have been confined to the rural southwestern region. Travellers should also take note that Hawaii Governor David Ige has chosen not to issue a statewide emergency proclamation since none of the conditions for doing so have been realized.”