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FestPAC provides advice for travellers   

FestPAC provides advice for travellers   

  • 04 Jun 2024

(Picture caption: Approximately 3,000 participants will attend this month’s 13th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture in Hawai’i.)   

This month, the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture (FestPAC) is gracing the shores of Honolulu, Oahu in Hawai’i from 6-16 June 2024.  

The event is the world’s largest celebration of indigenous Pacific peoples, which was launched by the South Pacific Commission (now the Pacific Community - SPC) in 1972 to halt the erosion of traditional practices through ongoing cultural exchange.  

Ho‘oulu Lāhui: Regenerating Oceania will serve as the theme of FestPAC Hawaiʻi 2024, honouring the traditions that FestPAC exists to perpetuate with an eye toward the future. 

Aotearoa New Zealand is sending an 85-member delegation, maintaining its tradition of continuous attendance at the event since the first in Fiji in 1972, including a New Zealand-based Pacific contingent of artists.  

Attracting as many 3,000 participants from 22 Pacific countries and territories, as well as from Australia and New Zealand, and other countries, FestPAC is one of the largest mass gatherings in the Pacific region.  

Participants or travellers to FestPAC have been provided with the following extensive advice to prevent illness and injury.   


You should be up-to-date on your routine and recommended vaccinations, including for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and COVID-19. Consult your doctor for more advice about recommended pre-travel vaccinations. 
Physical examination and pre-existing medical conditions 

For your own safety and wellbeing, participants and visitors should be fit for travel. People with pre-existing medical conditions must ensure that they are cleared for travel by scheduling a doctor’s appointment at least four weeks before travel. Ensure you have enough medicine for your stay. Stay home if you are ill.  

Travel health kit 

Pack a travel health kit with first aid supplies (sunscreen, painkillers, antiseptic, insect repellent and anti-diarrhoea tablets, alcohol hand sanitiser) and medications, enough to last your entire trip.  

Please bring extra supplies of your routine prescription medications (with a copy of prescriptions and a letter from your doctor stating what the medication is, the dosage, and that it is for personal use); carry them in their original packaging and follow the directions for use.  

Some medications may be controlled or considered illegal in the United States.  

Travel insurance 

Health insurance that covers you in your home country may not cover you in Hawai’i. You will be liable for covering any medical treatment and associated costs. Cover yourself with an appropriate level of travel health insurance.  

During the festival 

Practise healthy habits and if you experience a medical or safety emergency while visiting Hawai’i, call 9-1-1 for ambulance or police services. 

Food and water safety 

To prevent illnesses transmitted through food and water, consume food that is thoroughly cooked, and wash fruits and vegetables if they are not peeled. Avoid consuming reef fish from informal vendors while visiting Hawai’i due to the risk of ciguatera fish poisoning. Tap water in Hawai’i is generally safe to drink. Practise good hand hygiene.  

Sexually transmitted infections 

To reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STI), such as HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhoea, practice safe sex and use condoms correctly. The Hawai’i Department of Health offers free and confidential STI testing and treatment services. Visit HERE for more information 


Improper practice of tattooing (e.g., not using single usage needles) exposes to the risk of transmission of blood-borne pathogens such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.  

Dengue and other vector-borne diseases 

Hawai’i is currently not experiencing local dengue transmission. However, preventing mosquito bites is always a good idea.   

Ocean Safety 

Injuries along the coastline or in the ocean are a leading public health concern. Hawai’i beaches may experience strong surf conditions, jellyfish, brown water advisories, and other safety warnings. Please observe all posted signs and warnings when visiting the coast. Stay on designated coastal trails and do not venture out on slick rocks. Visit the Safe Beach Day website for current beach conditions in Hawai’i.  


Dehydration and heat-related illness are common in mass gatherings in tropical climates. Temperature in Hawaii during the festival is expected to be around 26-32 degrees Centigrade (80-90 degrees Fahrenheit). Avoid long exposure to the sun during the day and wear hats, loose-fitting clothes that cover your skin and sunscreen. Stay hydrated by frequently drinking safe water. 

After the festival 

If you feel sick after returning from your trip, particularly if you have a fever, talk to a healthcare provider and indicate your travel history.