BY MIKE MCCARTNEY – Hawaiian Airlines’ announcement that it will begin nonstop service from Taipei, Taiwan to Honolulu in July 2013 coupled with Taiwan’s entrance to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, will help to further expand the vastly growing Other Asia (including Korea, China and Taiwan) market for our tourism economy.
Arrivals from Taiwan reached 8,167 in 2011 and we anticipate reaching more than 10,000 in 2012. Following Korea’s entrance to the U.S. Visa Waiver program in 2008, visitor arrivals from the region increased 34 percent the following year, and arrivals from the region continue to increase by double digits year-over-year. We anticipate seeing similar growth from Taiwan, especially with the re-establishment of this new non-stop service.
Congratulations to Hawaiian Airlines on this new and exciting route. They have been a great partner in expanding air access to regions that have been growing tremendously for our visitor industry. We remain committed to working with them, our global marketing partners and other airline partners as we work aggressively to increase and maintain air access to and from our state.
Mike McCartney is President and CEO of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority