The Conversation: Industry and Union Concerns on Hawaii Tourism Downturn

Mar 19, 2020

Update from Hawaii's visitor industry; Honolulu orders bars and restaurants closed; Theater productions halt during coronavirus crisis; Sitting volleyball player preps for Paralympics

Update from Hawaii's visitor industry

A dire report out by the American Hotel and Lodging Association says one in four hotel workers could lose their jobs in Hawaii as a result of COVID-19, which some worry could last six months. Mufi Hannemann, President and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, talks about the impacts to the industry. Eric Gill, financial secretary and treasurer of Unite Here! Local 5, which represents hotel workers and healthcare workers at Kaiser, expresses his concerns if thousands of hotel workers are laid off during the downturn.

Credit spooky_kid / Pixabay

Honolulu orders bars and restaurants closed

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell on Wednesday signed an order mandating restaurants, bars and clubs on Oahu to provide takeout only and banning public seating in a more aggressive effort to halt the spread of coronavirus. Civil Beat Politics & Opinions Editor Chad Blair tells us more. Click here to read the story at

Theater productions halt during coronavirus crisis

Tonight would have been opening night at Kumu Kahua Theatre for the local production, "The Conversion of Kaahumanu." We spoke with Donna Blanchard, the theater's managing director, last week who was optimistic that the show would go on. However, since the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has changed their directive to crowds of 10 or less, the theater has postponed the show. 

Kaleo Kanahele Maclay
Credit World ParaVolley

Sitting volleyball player preps for Paralympics

Two weeks after the Tokyo Summer Olympics, the Paralympics will take place. Kaleo Kanahele Maclay is a setter for Team USA's sitting volleyball team. She already has two medals, including a gold from the 2016 Games. Along with her teammates, she's ready to defend Team USA's spot at the top.