Hawaii told tourists to stay away. Did they listen?

Late last month, Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) made a plea to tourists: Put travel plans on hold until at least the end of October. The highly contagious delta variant had increased the state’s hospitalizations, straining the hospital system.

“Our hospitals are reaching capacity, and our ICUs are filling up,” he said Aug. 23. “Now is not a good time to travel to Hawaii.”

Ige’s message didn’t stop tourism altogether — just before Labor Day, travel to Maui exceeded pre-pandemic levels — but it did seem to slow visitors.

















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