If you saw a flight to a warm summery destination for less than $100 while you have no business to attend to would you book it? Probably, and so would I. Well as millions of Americans are being advised to not travel due to COVID-19, those enticing airline deals just keep looking better and better to some people. Tourist destinations have been taking it upon themselves to advise travelers to only travel for essential reasons to stop the spread of coronavirus. Some of these locations include Hawaii, Moab, Utah, and the Outer Banks, N.C. Some residents of Maui have even been so vocal to protest the airports still being open and allowing for more tourists to come in. This puts Hawaii in a tough spot since travel and tourism is one of the leading factors to drive their economy. As seen in the chart below the passenger count comparison from 2019 to 2020 has had a significant difference starting mid-march, around March 16th.
The Governor of Hawaii has asked visitors to postpone their trips for at least 30 days and has more recently imposed even stricter provisions for businesses and mandatory self-quarantines for travelers and returning residents. However, there is still concern from the governor that these travelers will ignore his requests due to the costs of flights and other accommodations. Another concern in Hawaii is the sheer lack of health care providers to handle such a widespread crisis if travel continues. While in other states like Utah, where there is a high demand for tourism due to the national parks, there have been restrictions placed on overnight lodging to ensure tourism stops. In North Carolina checkpoints have been put in place to restrict access to the Outer Banks to residents, non-residents and even local business owners to ensure that tourism comes to a halt during this time. Colorado has even been hit hard in the middle of ski season having to close resorts due to COVID-19 cases and the state of Colorado has now issued a statement urging travelers to postpone or cancel all nonessential travel.