Kilauea eruption affecting tourism throughout Hawaii

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Waikiki hockey
Waikiki is some 200 miles from Kilauea, but the eruption is affecting travel to Hawaii's most popular destination. Photo Credit: Aines/Shutterstock

Packagers specializing in Hawaii say some clients have canceled their Hawaii trips due to the ongoing eruption of the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island.

Classic Vacations said the volcano has impacted bookings to all of the Hawaiian Islands and that some customers have canceled.

Consequently, Classic Vacations president David Hu sent an email to travel agent partners last week, addressing concerns they and their clients might have.

"Travelers planning on visiting any of the Hawaiian Islands can be assured that their plans do not need to change, and that most accommodations and activities on the Island of Hawaii (the Big Island) are operating normally. All of Classic Vacations' partner properties on the Island of Hawaii remain unaffected," the email stated.

The email included a map of the volcano's location and a note that aside from the 10-square-mile area on the east side of the Big Island, no other areas are affected. Classic noted that flights in and out of Hawaii are operating normally.

Pleasant Holidays said that its customer-service team has been fielding calls from clients who are concerned about their safety "but very few have canceled their travel plans and only about 20 bookings have opted to change their reservations to other Hawaiian Islands such as Maui or Oahu," Pleasant Holidays stated.

The company has waived its change fees for travelers who wish to move their reservations from the Big Island to another island.

Pleasant Holidays' website includes a link to a map produced by the Hawaii Tourism Authority that shows where the volcanic activity is taking place. "That area is more than 100 miles away from the Western Kohala and Kona coasts, where the island's major hotels and resorts are located," Pleasant Holidays stated.

Despite this setback, Pleasant Holidays said that it remains confident in its Hawaii business for 2018, with sales and passengers still up significantly from 2017.

"We forecast a seventh consecutive record year of tourism for Hawaii in 2018 ... due to the increase in air seat capacity, primarily from the U.S. West Coast markets," the company stated.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Tuesday assured the travel is safe to the Hawaiian Islands.

"This is a time to listen to the experts on-site and to trust what they are reporting and recommending," he stated. "The experts are telling us there is no danger from the eruptions to anyone outside the areas that have been evacuated. There is no threat of a tsunami. Air quality is being closely studied and is of most concern in the immediate area inside where the volcanic activity is taking place."

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