Hawaii governor stresses the rest of the island is ‘open for business’ despite eruption

The Kilauea Volcano is taking a massive toll on the Big Island’s economy, and Hawaii’s governor wants to reassure everyone parts of the island are still open for business.

May 24, 2018

Unless you’ve been living under a volcanic plug, you know that Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a popular tourist destination, has been closed on the Big Island since the Kilauea volcano began hawking lava loogies earlier this month.

But, Hawaii governor David Ige wants vacationers to know that they shouldn’t let some molten rock scare them off the Big Island: In an interview with CNBC, he stressed that less than 1% of the land has been impacted, and the rest of the island is “open for business.”

A little toxic gas never hurt nobody

Tourism authorities say summer bookings for hotels and tours on the Big Island have fallen almost 50% for the months of May through July, and according to the National Park Service, the closure of the National Park alone costs the island $166m.

And when you add the 2k jobs indirectly affected by the empty national park, that number balloons to $222m.

2 if by land, none if by sea

According to reports, both Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean have canceled stops at Hilo, the Big Island’s port, so tourists can’t “come seek” adventure there, even if they wanted to.

And, with tourism providing more than 30% of Hawaii’s private sector jobs in 2017, when a volcano disrupts it, it sends shock waves across the island.

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