HONOLULU — New federal rules for international travelers are expected to help Hawaii’s crippled tourism industry.
The state’s international market has been nearly nonexistent since the pandemic largely shut down travel.
Last week, the White House loosened rules that previously prohibited some foreign travelers from coming to the U.S. Now foreign visitors can come if they can show proof of vaccination and produce a negative COVID-19 test.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the changes could bring back international travel to the islands. It is down 97% compared to before the pandemic.
Hawaii currently only requires proof of vaccination or a single pre-flight COVID-19 test for mainland and some international travelers.
Some see the new rules as more restrictive for Japanese travelers, a major component of Hawaii’s tourism industry. Japan and other key markets for Hawaii tourism have high vaccination rates and officials expect that trend to continue in the coming months.