Would you take a “geo-fence” vacation to Hawaii?

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There’s no doubt that the tourism shutdown in Hawaii has created economic hardships. Unemployment is high. Tax revenue is down. It’s affected both big and small businesses.

One solution to restart tourism that’s being pursued is called “resort bubbles” and “geo-fencing.” It basically allows a visitors to come to Hawaii and spend their entire vacation exclusively at a resort hotel. This concept could be used if/until the pre-travel testing program can be implemented.

In a press conference on Friday, August 14, Maui Mayor Victorino says that the concept has “not been fully vetted out but we’re very close.” He says they could potential begin this concept in the next two to five weeks. Here’s how Mayor Victorino describes a geo-fencing vacation at a resort bubble as proposed by Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea:

  • A visitor is picked up from the airport and brought to the hotel/resort.
  • Once checked in a visitor would receive a RFID bracelet and/or use a mobile phone app to track their whereabouts during their vacation.
  • A visitor would have access to the hotel and beachfront, but cannot leave the resort itself without setting off an alarm of some type and notifying police.
  • The hotel staff would also stay on property so as to limit catching or spreading the virus to/from the community.
  • Designated quarantine areas within the resort would be staffed with security to prevent quarantined-guests from exiting.
  • Dedicated on-site medical staff.
  • Portable sanitizing equipment in each room.
  • All floors will be open air. Rooms will not be air conditioned.
  • Food would be served pre-packaged and “contactless.”
  • Reservations would have to be made to sit at the pool.
  • Physical distancing of all chairs and tables.
  • Wearing of masks is also required.
  • No “outside” non-guests would be allowed to come into the resort.

Additionally, Maui News reports that hotel guests would have to pre-test before their flight. As you can see there are layers upon layers of protective measures.

Geo-fencing may be used prior to the start of the pre-travel testing program to allow visitors to avoid quarantine. That program has been delayed from an August 1st start to a September 1st start, which is very much in danger of being delayed again.

We’ve only seen the geo-fencing concept discussed for implementation on the islands of Maui, Kauai and Hawaii (Big Island.)

So, what do you think? Do you like the idea of taking a geo-fencing vacation to Hawaii? What do you like or dislike about it?

40 comments
  1. Not a chance. All the things I enjoy about Hawaii involve getting out and enjoying its beauty. I’m sure some will do this but it won’t put barely a dent in the tourism hole

    1. I do not think this is a good idea. It takes the fun out of visiting since I personally wouldn’t be able to dine at the Four Seasons. I also own a house there so it limits what I can do there as well.

    2. I would never do a vacation like that – I go all over the island – that’s not a vacation- that’s a jail- LOL – they should just give tests when people arrive – simple and open up HW

  2. Absolutely not!!!!
    The reason I go to Hawaii is to sightsee Volcanoes, Hiking, So much to see.
    Right now I’m booked for late May and I’ll cancel and suntan in my own backyard before I’d entertain that notion.

    1. I suspect I could stay at a high end all inclusive resort in the Caribbean or Mexico for 2 to 3 times as long for the same cash. I don’t and won’t do that. I get fed pre-packaged meals at work, sick of that.
      only possibility is if you were to go to a niche market such as biggest loser or fitness thing for the price range. I might consider that but absolutely nothing else.
      I don’t do group tours, don’t stay at resort but avoid crowds and hike, sight see by myself. Minimal risk to others. I would consider being locked into a resort with several hundred others from all different places a far higher risk to my health. I’d stay home first.

  3. Absolutely not! So, we are supposed to pay thousands of dollars to be put under house arrest? We will wait until we can enjoy everything we love about Hawaii, which includes sightseeing and dining out.

  4. No way! I’ve not visited Maui before, and was planning a vacation there the end of August. This had to be cancelled! I want to come to move all around the island and see all of the beauty and nature of the island! It would not feel like a vacation if I had to stay within a gated resort, not able to eat in restaurants, and move about freely. We are waiting on the Pre-Testing to be put in place!

  5. I would probably cancel my trip, as I prefer to prepare my own food and the freedom to travel and visit beaches on the Big Island.

  6. No way. The Hyatt resort is beautiful but we want to take a walk, swim at other beaches and go to the market. We would cancel and stay home as disappointing as that would be.

  7. Maybe they could offer virtual tours and virtual excursions streamed to their room
    so they could really enjoy their vacation while confined to the ‘resort bubble’.

    1. And what would that offer that I couldn’t do here at home? An Oculus Go and I can do a 360 virtual tour today and order dinner out. Not a chance I’d fly there to do that!

  8. Well we booked our trip a week before COVID. Although we have cancel for any reason insurance, we can not get our money back from the resort. Although I do not understand why you would need pre-packaged meals and no air conditioning. I would rather go and look at the ocean than lose all of my money.

    1. We’re not clear about the pre-packaged food either. I wonder if that was under the context of room service, but wasn’t explicitly stated?

      I think the lack of air conditioning is to stop the potential flow of virus contaminated air from spreading from room to room. That’s just my guess.

    1. Heck no! I was born in Hawaii and have family there. We invested big money for 3 weeks in a high end big name vacation ownership – not to be treated like prisoners. I get the feeling 1/2 of the island does not want tourist back, and the other 1/2 is economically hurting as their income is tied to tourism. Well you can’t have your cake and eat it to. Definitely will cancel. Hawaii to us is love of the ocean and land, not the hotel pool or pre-packaged food.

  9. When Hawaii opens up completely I will be the first one back. Until then I refuse to quarantine and have pre packaged food. I can stay home or visit Montana, Oregon, Washington, Idaho etc. Hawaii is only nice when you aren’t prohibiting from enjoying all that it has to offer. Besides the locals don’t want us there anyway. I am staying home until Trump wins and Hawaii opens up again.

  10. No way!!! I love Maui and all it’s beauty. I don’t want to be locked up like I’m a prisoner. I love to go shopping and seeing all the beautiful sites around the island

  11. No way. We enjoy golf and eating at a wide variety of restaurants. Let us know when we can have a traditional Maui vacation.

  12. NOPE! Sounds like imprisonment on Alcatraz! We come to Maui every year but definitely not under these conditions!

  13. Absolutely not!!! I would never wear a RFID (GPS) bracelet for any reason. That is like a criminal. No air conditioning. I had a “hotel” in Hawaii without air conditioning once. Big mistake. Prepackaged food? No way. I go to Hawaii for the restaurant food. Prepackaged food sounds awful. Can’t rent a car and go see the beautiful island. Forget it. I will go somewhere else. Somewhere that really does want my money. The idea that their employees will live there and never go home to see their family. Are they serious? This is Hawaii’s most idiotic idea yet.

  14. It’s a definite no for me! I was meant to be there on Saturday, but canceled.
    I hope to have a normal vacation there mid next year.
    I want to be free to explore, experience and enjoy Hawaii as I always have.
    If I can’t do that, then there’s no reason to go.
    I don’t want to be confined to a resort and miss seeing Hawaii.

  15. Hell no. I’m going on vacation not to jail. We will find another vacation destination if this isn’t cleared up soon.

  16. Aloha Maui, if I wanted to be Chipped & Tagged absolutely not.

    This message is for all of Hawaii’s Main Landers!! This is the time for the Hawaiian People to have their islands back to themselves!

    Visiting Maui, the beautiful people, the soothing peaceful sounds of the ocean, winds & the birds is an unforgettable memory in my soul.

    Mahalo Maui

  17. I wouldn’t do that either. Our third booked trip this year was suppose to be this coming Friday. We are still taking off but staying home. I would love to be in Hawaii come Saturday but nope, I sure wouldn’t want to do it that way. Actually, the way everything is going, we aren’t too anxious right now to go anywhere. I just hope and pray it all ends soon and we can get back to “normal” if there is a normal anymore. Ugh!

  18. Alohaaaa!!! Who came out with this brilliant idea? You are treating the tourists just like criminal with a tracing device. This the worst solution I ever heard. I will take it better if you just close the island to everyone than coming out with this nonsense.

  19. Um NO. I thought the list was a joke at first… because it is just THAT Stupid. Have had to cancel 2 trips to HI in past 6 months.
    Mexico will get my money instead, As well as all the states that are Beautiful and open for business and totally flourishing like, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Utah, Montana etc…
    Why would anyone with a brain PAY to go to Hawaii to be locked up like a criminal???? You can keep your pre packaged food too. No thanks. Wise up Hawaii.

  20. No. We will only go back after the quarantines are lifted and would never consider the above proposal of being confined to a resort. I can’t imagine spending $10,000 to $25,000 for a confined vacation. We, also, can’t imagine anyone planning a destination wedding, or business conferences under quarantine, or confined conditions.
    We travel to Hawaii twice a year. We love the Islands, especially the Big Island where we have friends and extended ohana, and miss being there. (We cancelled 3 trips this and next year.. ) We would be happy to see some hotel workers go back to work, but am sure that not all of them would be brought back for small numbers of guests. Also, how does this help small businesses on the Islands who really need the help.”
    Our understanding” is that airlines must be 90% full to be profitable so with decreases in passengers who would not accept limited vacations, airlines may be operating at a loss.
    If they institute this “bubble” we hope that it helps the people of Hawaii , and assist in less spread of the virus, but we are not hopeful. Covid does not respect oceans, countries, or States and is currently on the Islands so we are not sure that “the bubble” resorts are a good enough prevention.

  21. This is a terrible idea. I would never come to Hawaii if I am practically imprisoned in the resort. Getting out and seeing the scenic beauty of Hawaii is what I am interested in. What is an RFID bracelet? Kind of like the ankle bracelet criminals released on bail have to wear? This whole thing sounds totally Orwellian to me.

  22. We have been to the Big Island once and Maui twice. Was planning on Big Island or Kaui this summer. No way would I take that 7-3/4 hour plane ride (even 1st class) to be locked in to a hotel & adjacent beach. The Tested Traveler program SOUNDED like a good idea, but… the Governor has already moved the goalposts once, and says he may again. Who wants to make reservations with cash up front when you may have the rug pulled out from under you, then having to hassle with refunds? Secondly, most NAAT/PCR testing sites I have checked say that results “may” be available in 2-3 days, but may take longer. Once again, a BIG gamble. I get that Hawaii wants tourists to return- I want to return also. But, It seems the Governor wants a ZERO risk scenario, and that’s just not realistic. Besides, Mainland tourists are NOT the problem…there have been no tourists for months, and they are still having virus cases, so Mainland tourists are NOT the problem.

  23. Just re-scanned the article and discovered that I overlooked “All floors will be open air.” “Rooms will not be air conditioned.” “Food would be served pre-packaged and ‘contactless’.” When I came off the Cambodian border for a few days in 1969 and went to Nha Trang for some beach sand, sun, & salt water, conditions were better. And we had A/C.

    This concept MUST have been conceived by a writer for the Onion. Seriously.

  24. After my above post I asked a number of people , including some frequent travelers if they would visit Hawaii if they were confined to their hotel grounds. Not even one would consider it.
    Would a Hawaiian resident visit Las Vegas, or , New York, or any of the National Parks if they were confined to a resort property, espeially with the proposals listed in the article? I would think not.

  25. No freaking way, I bought my ticket to go in March, then all this crap happened, right before election, who knew.🤣🤣 Covid has a survival rate of 98%, so whats all the hype about. Shame on tht governor closing tht beautiful island done for a bad flu. Waiting til I retired to go to Hawaii, now I won’t be going. The hell with this world, im over it.😡😡😡 and everyone test positive if you have a cold or allergies. So you closed your Island down for nothing, shame on your governor.

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