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Kauai is Open for Business; Travelers can Book Trips with Confidence

Posted on Apr 24, 2018 in Latest Department News

For Immediate Release: April 23, 2018
HTA Release (18-21)

Kauai is Open for Business; Travelers can Book Trips with Confidence

Tremendous Progress is Being Made on Kauai’s North Shore with Relief Efforts Following the Record Rainfall and Flooding of April 14-15

HONOLULU – All of Kauai is open and welcoming travelers to enjoy a beautiful place known as the Garden Island, with the only exception being the northernmost communities from Wainiha to Haena, which are temporarily closed to vehicle traffic while repairs continue to reopen Kuhio Highway.

That is the message the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) wants travel trade professionals, industry partners and global travelers in domestic and international markets to remember as they consider booking a trip to Kauai.

Communities in east Oahu and Kauai’s north shore recently took the brunt of an abnormally powerful thunderstorm that settled above those areas, first over Oahu on the evening of April 13 and then over Kauai on April 14 and 15.

Kauai’s north shore absorbed the worst of the thunderstorm with more than 28 inches of record-setting rainfall in a 24-hour period, resulting in flooding, landslides blocking Kuhio Highway, and extensive property damage, the totality of which some lifelong Kauai residents say they have never seen before. Fortunately, no one was killed or seriously injured.

George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO, noted that as relief efforts for Kauai’s north shore is continuing, the tourism industry has a vital role in the recovery process. “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.

“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.

“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. Visitors can help with the north shoreʻs recovery by patronizing Hanaleiʻs restaurants, retail shops, specialty stores and activities that support the livelihoods of so many area residents.

“We also ask visitors to be respectful and avoid going into neighborhoods where recovery efforts are ongoing, and to not go beyond Waioli Huiia Church in Hanalei or try to enter the closed section of Kuhio Highway until State and County officials reopen it to all vehicle traffic.”

Since the thunderstorm ended, State of Hawaii and County of Kauai emergency crews have been working around the clock to evacuate residents and visitors from Wainiha to Haena, bring in food, water and supplies, clear away debris and repair the communities’ infrastructure. Residents throughout Kauai have been wonderful in assisting with the relief and recovery efforts, while people from the other islands and outside of Hawaii have been generous in donating food, clothing, supplies and funds.

Szigeti said, “It’s been inspiring to see so many individuals and companies from around the state come forward with donations and volunteer their time to help those in need. I believe what we will remember most from this disaster are the extraordinary efforts to help rebuild these communities and assist our fellow residents. Everyone has come together, unified with a single purpose to do what’s best for the greater good of all and that’s the way it should always be.

“The work done by State and County emergency crews has been awesome and they are making tremendous progress every day. The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency has provided the guidance and logistical support needed to help get our communities and residents back on track. Our state lawmakers deserve a huge mahalo for quickly appropriating $125 million in funding to support the relief and recovery efforts on Kauai and Oahu. This is a collective team effort that reflects the best of Hawaiiʻs residents, communities and government leaders when help is needed the most.”

Visitors planning a trip to Kauai who have questions can contact the Kauai Visitors Bureau Call Center by calling 1-800-262-1400.

For the latest updates on Kauai, check the County of Kauai website at: and click on press releases.

About the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority is responsible for strategically managing the State of Hawaii’s marketing initiatives to support tourism. HTA’s goal is to optimize tourism’s benefits for Hawaii, while being attentive to the interests of travelers, the community and visitor industry. Established in 1998 to support Hawaii’s leading industry and largest employer, HTA continually strives to help ensure the sustainability of tourism’s success.

For more information about HTA, please visit Follow updates about HTA on Facebook, Twitter (@HawaiiHTA) and its YouTube Channel.

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Charlene Chan
Director of Communications
Hawaii Tourism Authority
808-973-2272 (o)
808-781-7733 (m)
[email protected]

Patrick Dugan
Senior Vice President
Anthology Marketing Group
808-539-3411 (o)
808-741-2712 (m)
[email protected]