HONOLULU (KHON2) – Some airlines announced an increase in flights between Japan and Hawaii ahead of the summer travel season.
Many businesses welcomed this news with open arms as they have anticipated the return of Japanese visitors.
After two years of Japanese travelers pausing their trips to Hawaii, there are signs of a comeback.
HIS Hawaii restarted packages to the islands at the start of May.
HIS Hawaii marketing specialist Daniel Allen said, “It’s become much easier for Japanese citizens, especially to go back into the country, Japan. So that’s really stimulated demand.”
Leisure travel to Japan is still not open, but the Japanese government increased its cap of arrivals for Japanese citizens, students and business travelers to 10,000 daily.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) also announced its “Flying Honu” service will return twice a week starting July 1, that aircraft can carry more than 500 passengers.
The state’s department of business, economic, development and tourism expects more than 165,000 nonstop seats from Japan to Hawaii by July.
The Tihati Productions President Afatia Thompson said their luau shows attracted plenty of Japanese visitors before the pandemic.
Thompson said, “The Japanese market made up at least 50% of our bodies that would come and see the shows and experienced the luau. We’re excited to get those those those tourists back.”
Meanwhile, the Aoki Teppanyaki general manager Shinji Ohfuji said he is slowly starting to notice more international visitors in the restaurant.
Ohfuji said, “Just passed Golden Week, we saw some Japanese tourists and the Korean as well, but not like before. Gradually we will see more Asian customers.”
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Although a boom in the Japanese travel market is not expected as the value of the yen plummets and the cost of flights is on the rise.