Open for business

By | Category: travel, Travel destinations

Oregon mountain snow

Four American states, California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii had difficult summers. And all due to events outside their control.

In the case of California, Oregon and Washington it was the effect of wild fires that deterred people from holidaying or traveling there. In Hawaii it was the volcanic eruption on Big Island and the smoke that spread across the other Hawaiian islands when the wind blew in certain directions. To top it off for Hawaii, Hurricane Lane swept in and although downgraded by the time it hit many of the islands it did cause flooding as more rain fell from that single hurricane than had even fallen on Hawaii before from any other single hurricane.

All these weather related events made Americans and others rethink their holidays.   California claims that it may have lost up to $20 million just in July alone. Visit California undertook a survey which seemed to suggest that just over 1 in 10 responders had switched from a holiday in the state to a holiday elsewhere. Oregon, which had wildfires in 2017 as well said it lost $51 million in tourism revenue last year and would have probably found similar results to the Visit California poll.

Northern California desert

I suspect that the news coverage largely affected domestic tourists because Britons and other Europeans would have booked their trips some time ago and probably still made their trips albeit with some possible changes when they got there. Trips to Yosemite, for example, might have been cancelled or they would have visited another national park. But the Pacific states have direct flights from the UK and Hawaii is just a one change stop for many so British, Irish and other European holidaymakers are a significant source of business for them all.

The three Pacific states have banded together as the West Coast Tourism Recovery Coalition to let us know that they are open for business and that you should not be put off holidaying there. The wildfires were in specific areas and, although large in area, the states are many times larger so much of them remained fully accessible with no problems for holidaymakers.

the island of Maui in the Hawaiian islands

Hawaii says that tourism numbers in July dropped by 12.7% due to Mt Kilauea but when the lava stopped flowing in August numbers rose and, overall, tourism numbers are up for the year. Nonetheless $2 million is being spent on promoting the state to US and Japanese tourists.

You can also expect that when the sales teams from Brand America (the overall marketing body for the USA) and the individual states start their visits to Europe this Autumn that they will be anxious to point out that we should continue to holiday in both the Hawaiian islands and the Pacific states of the country.

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