Waialua, HI (PRWEB) November 13, 2006
The title is not exactly the type of slogan that would be appreciated by travel agents. It's also not a phrase people usually associate with the islands of Hawaii - we're all accustomed to hearing about their spectacular views, pristine beaches, and magical natural wonders. During the past year, however, these small "map dots" in the middle of the Pacific have experienced more than their share of Mother Nature's wrath, and a significant amount of the corresponding press has been focused on its repercussions. To anyone that's been paying attention to the news, 2006 seemed like it would inevitably be a down year for Hawaii's tourism industry.
The opposite, in fact, proved to be the case. The relief effort following the flooding in February and March was nothing short of remarkable, and the recent earthquakes in July and October were met with a spirit of resilience and rejuvenation. The island lodging industry has enjoyed one of its more successful seasons this past spring, summer, and fall. Despite some expectations, there were no inflated numbers of cancellations for a Poipu Beach condo; no shortage of visitors interested in a Maui condo rental; no empty parking lots and lobbies in the enormous Honolulu resorts. Hawaii has faced a few challenges in the past several months, and its citizens have met them head on.
As a result of their efforts, the tourism industry has felt nary a ripple from events that had the potential of creating a tidal wave of vacation cancellations. In fact, despite the extensive media coverage of the flooding, Kauai's visitor spending in April fell just short of the billion dollar mark, an increase of almost 15% from April 2005. And July 2006 marked the fourth straight month of positive growth in Hawaii's tourist expenditures; an increase that had risen to 4.6% for the year.
How can we account for that increase during such turbulent times? Obviously the number can't be explained by a vast influx of weathermen and news reporters. The truth is that the relief efforts were so efficient, encompassing, and effective that people quickly got word that the Hawaiian Islands were still the same tropical utopias they've always been. And they discovered that it takes more than Mother Nature's best shot to discourage its government and citizenry.
Those seeking sun and surf for the holidays should not be deterred by visions of giant chasms and swollen rivers. The flooding is now a memory, the earthquakes have come and gone, and the islands are as ready as ever to receive visitors. Thanks to a lot of heart and a lot of hard work, Hawaii weathered the storms just fine.