VIDEO: Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO John De Fries joins Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii

With transpacific travel set to re-open next week, Hawaii Tourism Authority’s newly named President and CEO John De Fries said he estimates that between now and the end of the year, visitor arrivals will be a fraction of what they once were.

“My estimate is we’re gonna have a daily average of about 5,000. Which is roughly 17% of what that daily average was a year ago. And I feel like it’s a small enough place to start so that we can perfect the systems that will protect the health and well-being of the workers and the work environment and the host environment that will host the guests,” he said.

De Fries acknowledged that with so many variables surrounding the pandemic, it is nearly impossible to project a true number with any certainty. While those 5,000 daily arrivals will not be enough to revive Hawaii’s economy, those visitors could be the start of the financial recovery the state so desperately needs. He added that travelers who come to Hawaii will have a very different experience than in pre-pandemic times.

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