The eruption of the Kilauea volcano caused devastating disruption to Hawaii’s tourism industry during the month of May, according to ForwardKeys, a company that predicts future travel patterns. But so far, forwards bookings are still ahead of where they were at this time last year.
ForwardKeys stated that in the first four months of this year, total international flight bookings to Hawaii (excluding the USA) were up 5.4%. However, all that changed after the eruption of Kilauea on May 3. Bookings for the period May 3 – 31 slumped by 9.8%.
However, for the coming five-month period to the end of October, forward bookings are still 2.2% ahead of where they were at this time last year. Bookings for June and July are just 0.5% and 1.6% behind and bookings for August, September and October are ahead 6.7%, 7.9% and 2.3% respectively, according to ForwardKeys.
ForwardKeys CEO and Founder Olivier Jager concluded: “Given the magnitude of media coverage, forward bookings to Hawaii are holding up surprisingly well. We are also aware that the vast majority of international visitors to Hawaii stay in Honolulu, which is on a different island from the one where Kilauea is erupting. Therefore, we believe that the messages from the Governor and the Hawaii Tourism Authority that the volcano is in a remote location, over 100 miles from the main tourist resort areas, and that the islands are open for business, have credibility and are, to a significant extent, being heeded.”