Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hawaii Tourism: Some Good and Bad News

I served a plate of Hawaiian pupu-news (tidbits) to you a couple weeks ago and have more items ‘hot off the press’ for you Hawaii-travel-aficionados:

The Good News:

KoOlina2013 006* Hawaii anticipates the addition of 680,313 air seats this coming year. That means a lot more flights arriving from a lot of destinations bringing an estimated 10.75 million passengers to this tropical paradise.

(In 2012 nearly 8 million visitors spent $14.3 billion – the first time since 2006 that spending and arrivals set simultaneous year-end records).

*Hawaii’s Tourism Authority is crediting proposed new routes from the U.S. mainland and Asia-Pacific for the anticipated increase in visitors. Those  routes are: Boise, Idaho; Spokane, Washington; San Diego, CA; Taiwan; Auckland, New Zealand and Tokyo-Narita.

The Bad News:

KoOlina2013 013

Hawaii’s Governor Neil Abercrombie seems to want to bite the tourist hands that feed his islands:  he’s proposed increasing the hotel and timeshare room tax to 11.25 percent in July (it is currently 9.25 percent). 

The room rates, as I’ve told you in earlier reports are skyrocketing, so think of adding 11.25 percent to them.

Lawmakers here gradually raised the rate from 7.25 percent starting in 2009 to help ease state budget deficits caused by the recession.  The higher rate though was to be temporary and was to expire by July 2015.

The Governor says his proposal is to start a discussion. Might be time we regular visitors to Hawaii join in that discussion, don’t you think?

To contact Rep. Tom Brower, chairman of the Hawaii House Tourism Committee click this link; or write Gov. Abercrombie at and tell them what you think about House Bill 971/Senate Bill 1202 (hotel room tax increase).

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  1. I find similar politics to be in place in Arles--not cool when 70% of the economy is tourist-fuelled...

  2. Hawaii's tax is actually less than other cities, but considering the fragile state of the US economy and the state of the Japanese yen I think I would tread lightly when it comes to tourists right now.

  3. It's certainly a place I'd like to visit some time. Hope they don't ruin their tourism business like this.


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