HAWAII STILL OPEN TO TOURISTS
The state plans a small tourism publicity campaign in the aftermath of the earthquakes. Kalahikiola Congregational Church sits in ruins in Hawi on the Big Island.
Quakes prompt small-scale tourism campaign
A press release and video footage has been sent to media outside Hawaii
The Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau are mounting a limited public relations campaign to let the world know that the state is back to business as usual in the wake of Sunday's earthquakes.
Tourism officials have spent about $6,000 of contingency funds on the campaign, which is designed to show that tourism in Hawaii has been mostly unaffected by the latest natural disaster, State Tourism Liaison Marsha Wienert said. A press release, video footage and soundbites have been sent to mainland and international media and travel trade partners, she said.
"The expenditures for this campaign should be minuscule," Wienert said.
Publicity concerning the quakes so far doesn't even approach the reaction this past spring to the state's 43-day stretch of heavy rain, which led officials to conduct a half-a-million-dollar marketing campaign.
While earthquake-related damage to Hawaii's visitor industry is still being assessed, it is expected to remain on a much smaller scale, she said. While the earthquakes did cause a major power outage, there was no loss of life or serious injury.
Nearly all of Hawaii's hotel rooms are open for business. All major highways statewide are open, trans-Pacific flights and flights around the islands are back to normal, and power has been restored.
"About 100 rooms were damaged throughout Hawaii and we had about 100 cancellations," Wienert said of the quakes. "However, we're still in the process of conducting a comprehensive assessment and dollar value of the damages to the visitor industry."