Same amount of money, with lots more tourists

“Today, tourism has the same economic impact in the state as it did in 1989, only there are 3.5 million more visitors now.” 

This is a quote from an article published in February of 2019 in Zocalo. Let that sink in. A lot less tourists, but the same amount of money coming into Hawaii nei. With political leaders, business owners and even some residents rallying to increase tourism today, the question to me becomes why?

Ua mau ke ea o ka aina, i ka pono o Hawaii, our state motto. Translated simply, the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness. The time has come, we must be pono and protect what makes these islands so special. Protect the original people, who are akamai in the ways of aloha, and protect the natural resources which are precious and irreplaceable. We must take a stand for what it means to be happy and find balance between welcoming others and promoting a healthy environment, both inner and outer.

In this time of the virus, we have an opportunity to reset and install visitor restrictions. A clean slate to begin again. Certain places like Hanauma Bay on Oahu and Haleakala summit on Maui have already done so. Widespread restrictions and regulations are needed, and a cap on the total amount of visitors should be created. 

Pressure our leaders and representatives to head in a better direction for all. Let’s value what is real and move forward into a brighter future here in Hawaii.

Blair Goldberg



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