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In the two weeks since Hawaii Gov. David Ige made the public plea for would-be tourists to stay home, tourism to Hawaii has dropped by a third.
Ige made the request on August 23, citing a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases.
In the two weeks prior to the announcement, 380,000 tourists visited the Hawaiian islands, according to Hawaii News Now. In the two weeks after Ige’s plea, about 252,000 people visited Hawaii – a drop of more than 33 percent.
While this does not include full numbers from people flying into Hawaii on Labor Day, it’s doubtful the state will reach the 380,000 figure that visited prior to the Governor’s announcement.
The governor had asked visitors to stay away due to the rapid community spread of the delta variant, which has been contributing to skyrocketing COVID cases and a strain on Hawaii hospitals.
“Our hospitals are reaching capacity and our ICUs are filling up. Now is not a good time to travel to Hawaii,” Ige said two weeks ago. “It will take six to seven weeks to see significant change in the number of COVID cases. It is a risky time to be traveling right now. Everyone, residents and visitors alike, should reduce travel to essential business activities only.”
Ige stopped short, however, of announcing any new restrictions.