Hawaii tourism

Hawaii tourism only expected to increase for summer trips

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Travel isn’t expected to slow down any time soon, but at least demand for rental cars on Oahu is starting to level off.

This is not the case in other popular destinations such as Maui.

The surge in car rentals at Paradise Rent-A-Car a few weeks ago is on the decline.

Rental company manager Jay LeBaron said they were increasing their inventory of cars.

LeBaron said, “We’re getting more cars. Other car rental companies get more cars, so when the fleet gets bigger the prices go down.

The price of a car rental more than doubled during the height of spring break.

Manaloha Rent-A-Car Maui owner Sergio Salaparuta said they are booked through the end of June. He said it was too expensive to ship cars from the mainland, so they rely on bringing stock from Oahu.

Lebaron predicts that neighboring islands should soon see more cars available.

LeBaron said, “You gotta get cars shipped here, you gotta get them shipped to Maui, so that’s more time for that.”

The Hawaii Department of Transportation is also asking travelers to allow extra time when departing. It is advisable to arrive at least two hours in advance, as the airports will only be busier in summer.

Hawaiian Airlines senior vice president for revenue management and network planning Brent Overbeek said they expect a busy summer travel season.

“We will have recovered over 100% of our 2019 capacity by summer in North America,” Overbeek said. “So we planned to ramp up, and the team did a really good job of that. “

Even smaller airlines like Mokulele Airlines are starting to see more demand. Mokulele Airlines Chief of Staff Keith Sisson said they started seeing more travel once COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements were lifted for flyers in Maui County. .

Sisson said: “A very first real step in our return to some semblance of normalcy for the number of passengers we used to move throughout the day.”

Meanwhile, Prince Waikiki general manager Joshua Hargrove said they are also seeing 50% to 60% healthier capacity. He said they were still not at the 90% booking level they had seen before the pandemic. He expects more guests to return once tourism from Japan picks up.

Hargrove said: “June looks to be potentially stronger than May. So it looks like we are climbing steps as we continue to climb from last year.