Tourists or no tourists?

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The majority of local residents polled recently stated that they would prefer to have fewer or no tourists here in Hawaii. It is felt that tourists ruin the environment with trash, pollution, and general wear and tear on our natural resources.

There has been some discussion as to whether higher fees and taxes should be levied on tourists to discourage them from coming here. Will that happen? Perhaps, the poorer tourists will go elsewhere, and the richer tourists will come. Which means fewer tourists overall.

Is this wise?

To my cousin, who is the general manager of a hotel in Waikiki, it is not. The more tourists the better. After all, if business declines, he will lose his job.

To my nephew, who is a parking valet at a hotel in Waikiki, it also is not a good idea. If there are fewer or no tourists, he, too, will lose his job.

Let’s face it, folks, the tourism industry is what keeps the economy going in Hawaii.

Hawaii must capitalize on its natural beauty by opening itself to tourists.

Without tourists, there will be rampant unemployment, and the economy will collapse.

Which is exactly what happened here during the pandemic. Without federal assistance, Hawaii would have died.

Now that the moratorium on evictions is about to expire, we need to draw more tourists to boost income so that we can pay the rent or the mortgage, and buy food and other necessities.

It is a bad idea to discourage tourists from coming to Hawaii.

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23 Responses to “Tourists or no tourists?”

  1. DavidH Says:

    I agree with you. Tourism drives our economy. The hotels are slowly filling up. We are up to about to 70% of pre Covid levels. By next year we should be back to normal and we will no longer have the highest unemployment rate in the country.

  2. Hank Chapin Says:

    An ugly and worsening situation. That young man, only 19, who got stabbed to death—stabbed to death—in Waikiki was accosted by a bunch of people who were yelling at him to go back home where he came from. I saw it on the video and it was really ugly. Despicable attitudes and behavior.

  3. Sustain blog Says:

    Tourists or no tourists is a difficult question to answer.

  4. Sue Says:

    Dear Gigi and Friends, unfortunately, too many tourists forget to bring along their manners.

  5. tomthebackroadstraveller Says:

    .tourists can be a love hate relationship.

  6. Valerie-Jael Says:

    Tourists are a big help to the economy, but some perhaps need to improve their behaviour! Valerie

  7. Doug M Says:

    I just heard about that young man from San Francisco a couple days ago, the one who got stabbed to death and his friend clubbed. I’m sure that most of Hawaii wants to make tourists feel very welcome, especially now, but I think I’d wait on visiting a little longer.

  8. Olga Says:

    Both Vermont and Florida rely on tourism, but I suspect not quite as much as Hawaii does. I must admit to seeing both sides but why does everything have to devolve into an “us vs. them” situation?

  9. Martha Says:

    I agree with you, it’s the exact same situation here in Florida.

  10. Arkansas Patti Says:

    I have lived in tourist towns and the tourist provides most paychecks. They are necessary. There usually is an off season which is when the locals get to enjoy. With your lovely climate, you may not get to enjoy an “off season”. Regardless, sadly they are quite necessary.

  11. Wisewebwoman Says:

    Our economy in Newfoundland is driven by tourism also. I don’t understand those who don’t get the complete picture of basic economics.


  12. Christine Says:

    A dilemma

  13. Nancy Chan Says:

    Not only in Hawaii but all over the world during this pandemic. So true that we cannot drive away tourists. Many jobs will be affected. No easy solution. There are good and bad to consider.

  14. dkzody Says:

    Tourism is Hawaii’s industry. Don’t know what you all would do to make money, otherwise.

  15. Tom at Sightings Says:

    I live in an area with very few tourists; but right now I’m sitting here as a tourist in Arizona. Am I part of the problem? I hope not.

  16. AC Says:

    For your sake, I hope they return and behave themselves.

  17. marmeladegypsy Says:

    An interesting dilemma, one our “up north” areas experience regularly.

  18. Elephant's Child Says:

    I am sorry that some tourists leave their manners behind.
    Many of our industries depend on tourism too.

  19. DJan Says:

    It’s truly a dilemma. But you have to be somewhat well off to stay in Hawaii for long as a tourist.

  20. DeniseinVA Says:

    I agree with you Gigi but I can understand the fear also. We would love to come to Hawaii but am concerned about getting on a plane right now. We have always been very respectful of the Islands and the island way of life. It is a beautiful paradise and one we feel blessed to have experienced even for a short while.

  21. Terrier Says:

    Well, what are the alternative industries that can pay the bills and sustain living standards in Hawaii ?
    Manufacturing, fishing, software, agriculture ?

  22. honoluluaunty91 Says:

    It is a hard question to answer. An economy based on tourism is a weak one. Hawaii used to have agriculture as its main business – which was nice because I rather see fields of plants instead of concrete buildings on our beaches. Covid wiped out tourism for several months and it did affect those in the hospitality industry but nothing was done to figure out how Hawaii could branch out into other industries that did less harm to our fragile islands.

    I do love tourists because they come over here with big smiles on their faces and fall in love with our paradise, but they also bring with them this frantic need to do as much as they can here – and so we have hang gliders, speed boats, helicopter tours, etc. that take away from what I love the most about Hawaii. The laid back easy lifestyle and trust of our neighborhoods.

    Hawaii adapts itself to tourists by becoming an artificial playground for them. Our old ways are disappearing, and that makes me sad.

  23. Iris Empereur Says:

    To us Hawaii is so expensive, wen cannot afford it anyways, but believe me. We leave no trash.
    And I agree.

    Darwin .. we were allowed to sleep in the car there in 1995. 1999 there was a Night Pattrol that threw us out.
    OK. We stayed soemwhere else and left our (little) money elsewhere.
    Dumb! Them.

    Instead of Night Patrol make “Rubbish Patrol”, create jobs and charge the dumb ones who leave their stuff everywhere!

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