Kauai businesses cut prices to lure customers

LIHUE (AP) — Businesses on Kauai are offering large discounts to lure back customers after a near complete end to tourist visits to the island since the coronavirus outbreak in the spring.

The businesses are providing the discounts as a gesture to residents who also have felt the economic impact of lost visitors, The Garden Island reported Thursday.

No out-of-state travelers flew into Lihue Airport on July 13, while only 2,533 people arrived in the state during a period when the Hawaii Tourism Authority said there were 35,000 arrivals last year.

Kauai businesses have offered discounts on products and services including horseback tours, shave ice and wedding ceremonies.

Some of the discount offers are posted on the Kauai Visitors Bureau website. The site was relaunched recently after Gov. David Ige approved the restoration of interisland travel, visitor bureau Executive Director Sue Kanoho said in an email.

Donna Hunt, business manager of Silver Falls Ranch in Kilauea, said there have been 750 bookings for horseback-riding tours using a 60 percent to 70 percent discount.

“Three-fourths of our guests have been Kauai people,” Hunt said.

Daniel Soule, owner of Fresh Shave in Kalaheo, said offering a discount on flavored shave ice is a reminder for residents to “come out even during uncertain times.”

Joyful Ceremonies and Weddings now offers 25 percent off beach wedding ceremonies through the end of the year.

Owner Dale Rosenfeld said 99 percent of her business normally comes from tourists and the discount is meant as a goodwill gesture to the community, where she said health should come before profits.

“I’m not in a hurry to see the island open even though the economy is devastated,” Rosenfeld said.