In Hawaii, Reimagining Tourism for a Submit-Pandemic World

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After the outbreak of the pandemic, Governor David Ige issued an government order ceasing the disbursement of lodge and different transient lodging taxes paid by guests to the company. These funds have, since final yr, been utilized to help different authorities operations.

Many are hopeful that John De Fries, who turned the chief government of the Tourism Authority in September, will be capable of lead the islands into an period the place tourism is extra regenerative than extractive. Mr. De Fries is the primary native Hawaiian to guide the group and enterprise house owners who depend on tourism are relying on him to symbolize their pursuits as he thinks about tips on how to market the islands in a post-pandemic world.

“We’re at a time when our very survival is at stake,” Mr. De Fries stated. “We perceive that there are currencies aside from money that we’ve got to reconcile. A few of these different currencies are the pure surroundings, a way of well-being in the neighborhood. There’s forex in guaranteeing that Hawaiian cultural traditions are and ought to be protected.”

In January 2020, the tourism authority created a 2020-2025 strategic plan with 4 pillars or areas of focus — pure assets, Hawaiian tradition, group and model advertising and marketing — to handle tourism responsibly going ahead. When the pandemic hit, the company determined to proceed engaged on the plan. Particularly, it stored consulting with residents about how they really feel about tourism.

Mr. De Fries, who grew up in Waikiki and has seen tourism flip to overtourism over the previous three a long time, stated that his method for transferring ahead will emphasize regenerative journey via the Hawaiian ancestral concept of malama which implies “to nurture.” The 4 pillars, he stated, might be a guiding power.

“Everybody I discuss to — lodge house owners, elders, even the individuals who don’t like tourism — agrees that all of us need future generations to have a pure useful resource base that’s in higher situation than it’s now, so we’ve got to look after it and anybody with any aloha for this place will perceive that.”

It’s a lesson that different overtouristed locations may be taught from.


Paige McClanahan contributed reporting from Europe.

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