Shane Nelson
Shane Nelson

InsightThe Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) posted a comprehensive new safety e-brochure on its site last week, providing travel agents with a terrific tool to not only prepare clients before their departure but also to better educate themselves about the Aloha State.

Covering everything from pre-arrival planning tips to essential ocean, hiking and natural disaster specifics, the e-brochure offers Hawaii visitors a thorough introduction to a number of key safety issues often well-known among residents but unfamiliar to travelers.

ShaneNelson“The safety of our visitors is a top priority for the HTA,” Mike McCartney, HTA president and CEO, said in a statement. “We want our visitors to enjoy the Hawaiian Islands, but we also want them to be safe. This e-brochure provides another outlet for us to communicate recommended safety measures.”

While some of the general information will certainly be familiar to experienced travelers, and aspects of the Hawaii-specific advice may be old news to longtime Hawaii lovers, the e-brochure contains a great deal of good advice, especially when it comes to ocean safety.

Drowning is the leading cause of visitor fatality in Hawaii, and parts of the state have seen a significant increase in 2013. Eight visitors drown on Kauai before the end of May this year, for example, marking a startling jump from a total of just four drowning fatalities on the Garden Isle for all of 2012.

The HTA’s e-brochure urges travelers to always swim at lifeguard-protected beaches, stay up to date on current weather conditions and provides a list of beach warning signs, complete with highly detailed explanations, that functions as an introductory crash course in ocean safety for the inexperienced.

There’s also good information about road safety in the Islands and solid advice for visitors interested in hiking on Hawaii’s gorgeous trails, which is another frequent cause of visitor injuries across the destination. The brochure warns readers to avoid trails near streams during rain due to flash flooding risks, outlines what hikers should always bring along while trekking and lists websites where folks can find further specifics.

Also loaded with natural disaster information concerning hurricanes, earthquakes and, of course, tsunamis, which can be generated locally in Hawaii due to the Islands’ ongoing volcanic activity, the HTA’s e-brochure simply offers a lot of straightforward talk.

“If you’re at the beach and you feel the earth shake, run for high ground,” the brochure urges readers. “Do not worry about grabbing your blanket and equipment — gather your family and run as far inland and as high as you can go.”

According to HTA officials, work is also progressing on video safety greetings intended for in-flight viewing prior to arrival and in-room hotel access after travelers have checked in to their accommodations. Both will likely be available later this year.
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