by Lisa A. Grimaldi | January 16, 2018
Following the Jan. 13 false alert that led the public to believe a missile was en route to Hawaii -- mistakenly issued by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency -- the state's tourism authority president and CEO George D. Szigeti (pictured) aimed to reassure tourists. In a statement, Szigeti said, "This morning's false alert was regrettable and completely avoidable. There was no reason for the alert to be issued, and the public needs to know that it was simply a mistake caused by human error. Our governor and the director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency have made strong public assurances that this type of mistake will never happen again, and we should all take that to heart. Already, procedures have been improved to ensure that an error of this magnitude is not repeated. The health and welfare of our residents and visitors is always the state of Hawaii's top priority, and no agency takes that responsibility more seriously than the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency."
Szigeti added, "We have been in contact with our tourism stakeholders to inform them of today's false alert and reassure them that Hawaii s safety and security is unaffected by today's unfortunate incident. There is no cause for travelers with trips already booked to Hawaii or considering a vacation in the islands to change their plans. Hawaii continues to be the safest, cleanest and most welcoming travel destination in the world, and the alarm created today by the false alert does not change that at all."