Transcript for ‘GMA’ visits Hawaii as state reopens post-pandemic
It is that time. It's time to "Rise & shine." This time in Hawaii, the latest stop as we travel our incredible country and the aloha spirit. It is strong with visitors now returning after that state took a big hit during the pandemic. Becky Worley is joining us now with a look at how her state is bouncing back. Tough assign many, Becky. Aloha. Reporter: Happy aloha Friday, Cecilia, from the a la show state. We are here at Disney's resort and I was lucky enough to grow up in these beautiful islands. I can tell you that as visitor based businesses start to re-open, like this lei making company. We will see some of her beautiful creations a little later, there's just more and more for visitors to do here and I wanted to show you some of the fun you can have in the 50th state. aloha, Hawaii. From heavenly sunrises to the majestic turquoise water. But to see it all you might have to -- -- do something wild! From the air here at skyline zipline, you can see four different islands, all while scaring yourself silly. Oh! Reporter: Our guides are happy to get back to work because, well, who wouldn't want to call in their office? On the other side. Reporter: Even though all signs point to businesses re-opening, last year covid shut down a huge swath of Hawaii's economy. The state's unemployment increase was the highest in the nation at one point. And for business owners like Tobi of Tobi shave ice, it was tough. Everything was shuttered. Everybody was on unemployment. Reporter: But now -- -- shave ice is back too. So flavors? What's hot? Passion fruit, tiger's blood is really popular. Tiger's blood, huh? Mm-mm. So Ono. Since we are on an island, you got to get in the ocean. Take it from big wave surfer and pre-eminent waterman ky Lenny. Get out into the ocean any way you can including doing what I do, surfing, stand-up paddling, kite surfing, wind surfing, basically anything that can get you in the water having fun. Wipeout Reporter: I hit the waves with another water pro, Dustin tester. And her surfing dog Luna. When the pandemic hit, we closed the doors. Your employees? They were all laid off. Maui surfer girls were ohana and it was hard because a lot of the girls didn't have work anymore. Reporter: To keep her business afloat in a year without business, she had to perform some serious acrobatics. A lot of the parents on the island needed activities for their kids to do outside so we pivoted into day camps for local kids. Reporter: And giving back is a new post-covid visitor theme the state hoping for an increase in something called volun-tourism like rebuilding fish ponds asking visits to help Malama for care for Hawaii as it re-opens. But with all you can do here, you might also -- ah -- just want to chill. ah is right. Now, to come to Hawaii you do have to show proof of a negative covid test if you don't want to quarantine and because international travel is so complicated right now, Hawaii is starting to really pick up in terms of business, so you want to have some advance planning and reservations and, you know, I should know what it's like out there because I was working really hard for you guys to show people all the fun things you can do here. Yeah, it was a really tough one, Becky. I'm sorry you had to pull that straw. We are glad you're there and you're there with the owner of the floral shop and you've been busy working on that lei all morning. We got questions for you so thanks for being with us there. I know it's early. Tell us a little bit about the history of this lei. It's such a huge part of the hawaiian culture. When is it given? Cecilia, I'm not sure if she can hear you. Can you? No. Oh, shucks. She's asking, tell us about the history of the lei and what it means. Leis traditionally given for ceremonies to honor people or you can just wear it to beautify yourself and for celebrations. Now, I know that during covid it was really rough because you lost a lot of your business. Yes, yes, I lost % of my business and a lot of people over here, we have two jobs, so it was really hard, but that was a time for us to get really creative and it was good for us to prepare so that when we do have business again. Ah, well, it is just beautiful what you're doing. Tell us about the 4r6789 ei you're making. I made these for you actually, Becky. Oh. This is my mombuch lei. That is a head lei. Okay, Cecilia, what do you think? Am I looking like I really belong here? You do. Those are so absolutely beautiful. How long did it take to make that one for you this morning? How long did this one take? It takes about two hour, lots of thought goes into it definitely. Wow, it's beautiful and I wish you guys could smell everything here. The tuberose, smell-o-vision. We'll bring that to you next. Thank you both so much. Becky, we'll see you in a few
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