Big Island residents say tourism still strong, despite volcanic activity

HILO, HI—After decades of running restaurants in Northern California, Arthur Love decided to settle for the laid-back tropical life on Hawaii’s Big Island.

The family bought the Wild Ginger Inn about 14 years ago.

“We just sold our house in union city and transferred here in Hilo. And my family and I were looking for a property to relocate my business here,” he says.

They also bought a piece of history — the Red Ginger Inn was frequented by farmers in the 1960s.

The Inn is in downtown Hilo, and about a 40-minute drive from Mount Kīlauea where volcanic eruptions have evacuated communities.

“It hasn’t affected our normal booking, if anything, it has drawn interest of people still wanting to come over here.”

People are still coming they want to see the lava they want to see the volcanoes.

Volcano parks near Kīlauea have remained closed as fissures continue opening, with local tour operators having to suspend business during the eruptions.

With summer around the corner, tourism officials say that travel to Hawaii is still safe, with the volcanic activity affecting only a small stretch of the Big Island.

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