Hawaii tourism badly affected by volcano eruption

Tourism industry of Hawaii islands has been gloomy, due to the recent eruption of Kilauea volcano. The cumulative expenditure loss to the tourism of Hawaii’s Big Island inflicted by the eruption may turn out to be as high as approximately 200 million U.S. dollars, a study found.

According to the latest study, the Big Island may have already lost 38,000 potential visitors and around 50 million dollars in potential tourism expenditure in May and June.

The Big Island of Hawaii may have lost 17,000 potential visitors and 22.7 million dollars in potential tourism expenditure in May and 21,000 potential visitors and 27.5 million dollars in potential tourism expenditure in June, the peak month of the loss.

“It’s just the expenditure by the tourists. And there’s usually a ‘ripple effect,’” said Mark Kimura, an affiliate faculty member of the Department of Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Hawaii.

“If tourism related businesses lose their revenue, then their suppliers lose theirs too. If their employees lose their jobs, they’ll reduce their consumption of local goods and services. That might affect even the local businesses for basic goods and services, which may not be related to tourism.” Added Kimura.

As Kilauea is still erupting and damage is still being done, the average lose of potential visitors will be around 20,000 with around USD 25 million loss in tourism expenditure.

Meanwhile, George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, noted “Hawaii’s tourism industry did extremely well in the first half of 2018 in all key categories.”

Eruption of Kilauea, one of the youngest and most active volcanoes in the world, has prompted closure of two-thirds of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in the Big Island. Hundreds of homes in the Big Island have been destroyed by lava from Kilauea, which has been erupting nearly continuously since early May.

Earlier, the authorities were trying to cash the volcano eruption, by promoting lava tourism in the island.