Hawaii natives no longer promote tourism as it impacts their day-to-day lives. Only 53% of Hawaiians believe that tourism can be more beneficial than harmful, according to the 2021 Hawaii Tourism Authority’s Resident Sentiment Survey. Chris Kam, the president and COO of Omnitrak, shared with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that “It’s the lowest measure since we started taking the survey in 1988.”
Micah Doane, co-founder of the beach-cleaning nonprofit Protectors of Paradise shared to The Guardian, “You see every day these disrespectful people come and do whatever they want . . . It’s to the point where it’s kind of hurt an entire community.”
Kam stated that some of the major issues Hawaiians have been facing are overcrowding, higher cost of living, and damage to the environment. People started having negative thoughts about tourism and wanted to decrease the number of tourists. Around 10 million tourists visited Hawaii in 2019. After a year of pandemic, the number of tourists started increasing in 2021 and surpassed the earlier record. For example, Hawaii faced a rental car crisis this summer. As a result, tourists started hiring U-Hauls instead. There are many threatened and endangered animals and plants that are home to Hawaii islands. Hence, tourists should care for and respect the environment and community and not disturb them. Many resorts are owned by non-Hawaiians who focus on purchasing property (for commercial or other purposes) which is widely responsible for Hawaii’s high cost of living.
It is important to understand that tourism should not affect Hawaiian everyday life. Tourists also respect locals’ needs, community, environment, and culture.