George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement by the State of Hawaii that the spread ofdengue fever on Hawaii Island has been stopped.
“Today’s report that the dengue fever outbreak on Hawaii Island has been halted is a huge relief for residents and tourism industry partners statewide, as well as travelers planning a Hawaii vacation.Travelers can book and experience all of the Hawaiian Islands with confidence and without hesitation.
“Hawaii is fortunate that locally acquired cases of dengue never got beyond Hawaii Island, and that the vast majority of cases occurred before February. Despite negative publicity associated with the dengueoutbreak, visitor arrivals statewide, including those for Hawaii Island, are ahead of last year’s record-setting pace through the first quarter. That speaks well of Hawaii’s enduring brand as a quality globaldestination and to the response of both the State and County of Hawaii in halting dengue.
“Mahalo to Gov. Ige, the State Department of Health and the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency for the diligence of their collective efforts in bringing an end to the dengue outbreak.
“With the longer, warmer days of summer coming, it’s imperative residents, travel industry partners and visitors on all islands be conscientious in helping to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses. Using insect repellent while enjoying nature and taking steps to eliminate standing water where mosquitoes cluster andbreed will help keep Hawaii safe and healthy.”