May 26, 2020 Hawaii travel, tourism and vacation planning update

Aloha! It is our intent to provide you with distilled information and news updates from the State of Hawaii to assist you with your future travel plans and to more easily stay in touch with what is happening in Hawaii on a daily basis. We are taking the time to read articles, watch news stories and stay on top of things, so you don’t have to. If you ever want to dig in deeper, we provide you with all of the resources and links in the footer of each post like this, so that you can do that if you so choose.

If you have any questions or feedback, let us know at If you are ready to book your Oahu vacation rental accommodations, connect with our Dir. of Reservations Amber Schoneberg, at or by phone at 844-577-8800 Ext. 1.

First, let’s talk about COVID-19 Case Counts in Hawaii:

  • NO new cases reported for the 3rd consecutive day
  • Statewide total since day one is 643 cases, with 593 people having been released from isolation, with only 83 having required hospitalization. More than 50,000 people in Hawaii have been TESTED for COVID19, meaning approximately 1.2% of those who were tested, were found to have had the virus.
  • Fortunately, Hawaii has some of the lowest case counts in the entire country and officials are doing all they can to keep it that way!

Next, Visitor Travel Restrictions:

  • The 14-day mandatory quarantine for all Visitors and returning residents flying into Hawaii, remains in effect through June 30, 2020. There has not yet been a definitive statement made regarding what is likely to happen AFTER June 30, with regards to the quarantine measures. It is a very strict quarantine and Hawaii officials are doing their best to monitor those who are subject to it so our recommendation is to not mess with that unless you absolutely need to come to Hawaii for some reason.

When will quarantine be lifted?:

  • At this point, we don’t know for sure. We do know that officials are looking into the viability of requiring visitors to hawaii to take a COVID text prior to flying to Hawaii and to present a negative test prior to boarding the flight. Failure to produce such a test could result in being subject to the 14-day quarantine measure.
  • Travelers from Japan, Australia and New Zealand likely to be the first travelers allowed to come back to Hawaii
  • Peter Ingram, CEO for Hawaiian Airlines, said that there is no way for them to know what kind of demand there will be for air travel right now, because the existence of the 14-day quarantine removes whatever demand there might be.” He was referring to the need to lift quarantine measures for inter island travel and the importance of quarantine being lifted when possible for other travel.
  • State struggles to enforce it’s onerous quarantine measures, of course.
  • About 1,000 arrivals to Hawaii each day, with several hundred visitors coming, subject to quarantine. This time one year ago brought 30,000 visitors a DAY to Hawaii!

What is it like currently on Oahu?

  • Still a lot of stores and activities are closed for the time being. Mostly essential businesses, food / household goods stores and a variety of restaurants are open.
  • Most retail stores are not yet open though some are starting to work on reopening
  • Majority of people wear masks when going to stores, picking up food or any other place where they are having close contact in a transactional way.
  • When at the beach or park or just walking around, many people are not wearing masks due to the ease of keeping a good social distancing. Locals are not wearing masks when exercising.

What is the Status of legal Vacation Rentals:

  • Legal vacation rentals are still Deemed as non-essential, as least for Honolulu County on Oahu.
  • The hope is that will soon change once inter-island travel resumes

News Updates and Headlines from the past couple of days:

  • Most of 242,000 unemployed workers are tied to the visitor industry; hoping to bring back 35% of those who have lost their jobs; by end of 2020? Could be five years before visitor numbers get back to where they were.
  • Second highest unemployment rate in the nation; tourism more severely impacted
  • 2019 over 10M visitors to Hawaii; projections are currently showing 3.5M visitors for 2020; 68% decrease year over year, if that’s what the numbers end up being.
  • Expecting 6.2M visitors for 2021:
  • The state Department of Businesses and Economic Development is projecting that the visitor industry in the islands won’t open in earnest until September, and that visitor arrivals for 2020 will top out at 3.4 million.
    • That’s a level of tourism not seen seen the late 1970s — Hawaii saw 3.9 million visitors in 1980 — and a decrease of 67.5% from 2019, when Hawaii saw more than 10 million visitors.
  • Several years expected for tourism to get back to 2019 levels.
  • Lt. Governor Josh Green would like to start to reopen Hawaii travel in July 2020, but NOT for Travelers from the Continental U.S. (North America). He suggests potentially starting with Japan, New Zealand and Australia.
  • Polling results by Hawaii News Now and Civil Beat, on a positive vs. negative perspective those polled had for the Governor and other political leaders. Gov. Ige had a 54% NEGATIVE viewpoint rating, in terms of his leadership abilities (or lack thereof) in the handling of the COVID-19 crisis thus far. Lt. Gov. Josh Green had one of the highest POSITIVE ratings ever seen in such political polling. Yes, it is politics, but true and effective leadership is needed NOW, more than ever before.
  • Mayor Kirk Caldwell of Honolulu County is expected to talk May 26, 2020 about plans to reopen local businesses and reboot the economy
  • Hotel occupancy rates at just 9%;
    • 40k+ hotel jobs are at stake as hotels lose millions of dollars a month
  • Inter-island visitor travel could be resuming soon (for those who LIVE in Hawaii) and that is being looked at
  • Local church services can resume, with restrictions
  • Hawaii’s unemployment rate jumps from 2.4% in march to 22.3% in April
  • Kama’aina / local plan for re-opening by Governor David Ige;
    • Not much insight in that plan for the reopening of tourism though and it is mostly related to reopening local businesses

Neighbor Island Updates:

  • Kaua;i:
    • Salons reopened last Friday
  • Moloka’i and Lana’i:
    • nothing to speak of for today
  • Maui:
    • Nail and hair salons are opening up
  • Hawaii Island or Big Island:
    • Salons opening next Monday
    • The 2020 Ironman 70.3 Hawaii triathlon, already postponed once because of the global coronavirus pandemic, has been pushed back a second time and is now scheduled to take place on November 21, the company said Tuesday.

Thank you for watching and/or reading our Hawaii traveler updates and remember to like, subscribe and share on YouTube and your social media accounts!

If you have any questions or feedback, let us know at If you are ready to book your Oahu vacation rental accommodations, connect with our Dir. of Reservations Amber Schoneberg, at or by phone at 844-577-8800 Ext. 1.


Munro Murdock
Broker, Owner, MBA
Love Hawaii Villas


Broker/Owner of Love Hawaii Villas, Munro Murdock, was interviewed for the following recent news coverage. To be clear, Love Hawaii Villas is in favor of ALL legal Hawaii accommodations options, including hotels, to be able to be open and operate on an equal basis. The discrimination against legal short-term rentals during and following the COVID-19 travel shutdowns is not acceptable and it violates property Owner’s constitutional rights of use for their properties. Much of the media involvement has been in an effort to help dispel misconceptions and to represent the rights of legal short-term vacation rental owners throughout Hawaii, not just for the property Owners we have as clients. Industry leaders, even competitors, have come together to unite in this cause off ensuring equality in the accommodations sector of the Hawaii visitor travel industry!

MAY 17, 2020: Honolulu Star-Advertiser – COVID-19 restrictions imperil Hawaii vacation rentals

Honolulu Star-Advertiser: COVID-19 restrictions imperil Hawaii vacation rentals

MAY 24, 2020: KITV-4: Owners tout vacation rentals as safest post-pandemic travel option.

JUNE 1, 2020: Civil Beat – Path To Reopening Includes Short-Term Rentals

JUNE 11, 2020: KITV-4 News – Coronavirus safety standards for hotels vs. vacation rentals: is one better than the other?

Travel Weekly – COMING SOON


For third consecutive day, Hawaii reports no new COVID-19 cases

WATCH ‘This is Now’: Debate grows about how to safely reopen tourism to Hawaii

First half of this video is very helpful and informative with the latest information.

LIVE: Mayor to discuss latest efforts to reopen businesses, reboot economy

How empty are the hotels still open in Hawaii? The occupancy rate in April was just 9%

Civil Beat/HNN poll: Amid state’s pandemic response, voters have negative view of Ige

In 2019, Hawaii saw 10M visitors. This year, visitor arrivals are projected to top out at 3.5M

Lt. Gov. Josh Green hopes to reopen Hawaii’s tourism industry by July(but NOT for the continental U.S.)

Head of Labor Department: 190,000 could remain unemployed through end of year


Ironman triathlon in Kona delayed again due to coronavirus concerns

14-day quarantine for travelers in effect, keeping passenger arrival just above 1,000 people

State tourism forecast predicts it will take 6 years for arrivals to recover

Lifting 14-day quarantine will be key factor in Hawaiian Airlines’ recovery, says CEO

Plans underway to lift 14-day quarantine for interisland travelers

Hawaii’s Hotels Are Bleeding Cash Amid Shutdown

KITV4 news; interview to discuss the reopening of Hawaii; impact to VR

Local church services can resume, with restrictions

Economists, NOT gov’t officials predict economic recovery indicators

Hawaii’s unemployment rate jumps from 2.4% in march to 22.3% in April

State struggles to enforce it’s onerous quarantine measures

Under governor’s plan, much of the ‘kamaaina economy’ will be reopened by early June

For a large portion of Hawaii’s economy, there’s no timeline for reopening





Moloka’i and Lana’i:


Hawaii Island or Big Island:



Munro is the Principal Broker and Owner of Love Hawaii Realty and Love Hawaii Villas. He is a Top 100 Realtor in the State of Hawaii and leads a team of vacation rental industry professionals in providing exceptional property and Guest experiences across their portfolio of privately-managed luxury legal vacation rentals in Hawaii. Munro has been involved with vacation rental marketing and management for more than a decade and is a sought-after leader in the industry. He prides himself on being an early adopter of cutting-edge technologies and in going the extra mile for his Owner and Guest clients. He is passionate about what he does and loves to find ways to innovate and adapt in the face of market changes.

He is a firm believer that by focusing on delivering a high level of service, that everything will take care of itself. He recognizes the lifetime value of Client and Team member relationships and loves to bring his boundless creativity to life in his day-to-day work. Munro is married and lives with his wife and three children and cute little dog in Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii. He loves the outdoors and is as active as he can be with stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, surfing, bodyboarding, kite surfing, running, SCUBA diving, traveling and just hanging out with his family around the beaches of Hawaii. 


Love Hawaii Villas is a full-service vacation rental marketing and management firm, specializing in exclusive vacation properties in the Ko Olina Resort, Turtle Bay Resort, North Shore and Hawaii Kai areas on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii. Every year, Travelers from all over the world stay in properties managed by Love Hawaii Villas while visiting Hawaii.

The Team at Love Hawaii also assists Clients with the purchase and sale of Hawaii real estate through the team of licensed Agents and Brokers at Love Hawaii Realty. Love Hawaii was recognized as one of Hawaii’s Best Workplaces in 2019, and is an active member of the Vacation Rental Manager’s Association (VRMA), Rotary International, National Association of Realtors (NAR), Hawaii Association of Realtors (HAR) and Honolulu Board of Realtors (HBR).

YouTube ►
Instagram ►
Facebook ►
Website ►

“A better way to stay!”