HONOLULU (KHON2) — Welcoming a friend or family member with a lei is a special, time-honored tradition in Hawaii. So as we get ready for more arriving passengers, lei stands at the airport hope better days are ahead.
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Milan Chun took over her grandmother Martha’s lei stand and says that business has been very hard, even for the farmers.
“There’s no money, nothing at all. I mean there are days when we don’t have even a sale,” said Chun.
Since it’s only the first day of tourism reopening, workers we spoke to in the early afternoon say that not much has changed so far.
“So we’re just waiting. We’re praying that maybe by the next couple of days it’ll pick up and maybe our tour companies will be calling to order more lei in advance,” Gladys’ Lei Stand owner Bonnie Groendyke.
Business from residents has been helping many of these lei stands, and they’re glad that they can help.
“Especially the economy is real tough, so this is good,” said customer Dulu Gaye. “I got some friends coming in. I’m in the military and I have some friends coming in who will be joining the military as well.”
To prepare for incoming visitors, almost all businesses like rental car companies have focused on cleanliness for everyone’s safety.
“So you don’t always realize how many points in the car you touch. There are so many key high touchpoints from the steering wheel, to the visor, to the seatbelt. So we just want to make sure that all of our customers understand that every vehicle is thoroughly cleaned each and every time,” said Joslyn Bantilan of Enterprise Holdings.