LIHUE — All of Kauai is open, with the exception being the northernmost communities from Wainiha to Haena. And it’s still a beautiful island.
That is the message the Hawaii Tourism Authority is asking people to remember as they consider coming to Kauai after flooding caused severe damage last weekend and led Gov. David Ige to declare it a disaster area.
George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO, said that as relief efforts for Kauai’s North Shore is continuing, the tourism industry has a vital role in the recovery process.
“Before the thunderstorm, Hanalei was bustling with business because of tourism. Since then, visitors have been staying away from Hanalei, which is hurting businesses and putting at risk the jobs they provide to residents,” he said. “Visitors can help with the North Shore’s recovery by patronizing Hanalei’s restaurants, retail shops, specialty stores and activities that support the livelihoods of so many area residents.”
They seem to be responding. Sunday night, Tahiti Nui and Kalypso restaurants in Hanalei were full and music was playing. At Hanalei Bay, visitors walked the beach, snapping pictures.
Last weekend’s thunderstorm dumped record rains on the North Shore, resulting in flooding, destroyed homes, trapped people, landslides blocking Kuhio Highway, and extensive property damage.
Amazingly, there were no injuries.
Some resorts and inns received cancellation notices as word spread nationally of the disaster, causing worrying in the tourism industry.
“Kauai, including most of Hanalei on the North Shore, is open for business and ready to share the charms and beauty of this idyllic, unforgettable island with visitors from around the world,” said Szigeti.
“Travelers can book a trip to Kauai with confidence knowing they will enjoy a vacation experience that is uniquely appealing within all of Hawaii, while also supporting island businesses and residents who depend on a thriving tourism industry.”