SOURCE: Hawaiian Beach Rentals

October 25, 2007 02:15 ET

Hawaii Travel Increased Due to Homeland Security Passport Initiative

KAUAI, HI--(Marketwire - October 25, 2007) - Hawaiian Beach Rentals, a Hawaii-based vacation rental agency, revealed that travel to Hawaii has become increasingly popular since the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) passport rule was implemented by the United States Department of Homeland Security. Customers questioned by Hawaiian Beach Rentals stated the convenience of visiting a United States destination was a major deciding factor when planning their 2007 vacations.

Jeff Berzolla of Hawaiian Beach Rentals commented, "American travelers now find it easier to come to Hawaii than other international destinations. As locals, we help travelers create a customized island experience because we are familiar with all Hawaii has to offer. We can put together customized packages with stunning Kauai vacation rentals, as well as schedule flight arrangements and secure rental cars so visitors feel the true Aloha of Hawaii."

The WHTI was implemented on January 23, 2007 but travelers were given a reprieve until October 1, 2007. The government waived the passport rule temporarily because of the large number of passport applications received. In the past fiscal year there were 18 million passports issued, with 12 million being issuing during 2006. According to David Donohue, State Department Consular Affairs OFC, "During this summer, when we had a backlog of passport applications, we allowed people to enter and leave with proof that they had applied for their passport. Everyone will be required to have a passport to enter or leave the United States by air."

Frequently traveled vacation destinations affected by the WHTI include Aruba, Netherlands Antilles, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Canada and the British Virgin Islands.

The demand for Hawaiian vacations is destined to continue because as of January, 2008, travelers going by sea or by car will also be required to show a passport to enter the United States so avoiding air travel will no longer be an option. A popular travel destination for decades, Hawaii promises to remain the perfect place to stay in Pacific paradise for many reasons.

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