Travellers across the Pacific Ocean are complaining of a series of restrictions imposed by Hawaii’s government after it was announced that the island nation would no longer welcome foreign visitors.
The announcement prompted the Hawaii Tourism Council to issue a travel advisory, urging residents to avoid visiting the island for the duration of the island’s ban on foreigners.
“This is not the time to travel to Hawaii,” said Kari Clements, the council’s director of government affairs.
“We have to understand the state of our economy.”
Hawaii’s new immigration restrictions will also apply to tourists travelling to and from the islands.
The restrictions are being enforced by a combination of new airport security, tighter travel restrictions on mainland Hawaii and tighter controls on the number of foreign visitors allowed in each year.
The new restrictions also apply overseas, but it is not clear when the ban will be lifted.
The state’s tourism industry is also facing a major boost in the form of the latest numbers from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, which show that tourists from China and India have surged in recent years to the tune of more than a billion dollars a year.
“The number of visitors to Hawaii has increased dramatically in the past three years,” Clements said.
“It’s the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry.”
The report said that Hawaii had a population of about 730,000, and that the number had risen by more than 4 million since 2011.
But Clements noted that the increase was due to the growing number of overseas visitors.
“People are coming here because they want to see the country,” she said.
Hawaii has not reported on how many tourists are coming from abroad, and there has been no official breakdown of the numbers of visitors.
However, it is widely assumed that a significant number of foreigners come from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, where travel to other parts of the world is restricted.
While the new restrictions have been welcomed by some, they have been criticised by others, including the local tourism industry.
“These measures are being implemented against the wishes of the people of Hawaii,” Cotes said.