In Hawaii, Reimagining Tourism for a Post-Pandemic World


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. Those funds have, since final 12 months, been utilized to help different authorities operations.

Many are hopeful that John De Fries, who grew to become the chief government of the Tourism Authority in September, will have the ability to 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 signify their pursuits as he thinks about the best way to market the islands in a post-pandemic world.

“We are at a time when our very survival is at stake,” Mr. De Fries stated. “We understand that there are currencies other than cash that we have to reconcile. Some of those other currencies are the natural environment, a sense of well-being in the community. There’s currency in ensuring that Hawaiian cultural traditions are and should be protected.”

In January 2020, the tourism authority created a 2020-2025 strategic plan with 4 pillars or areas of focus — pure sources, 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. In explicit, 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 strategy for shifting ahead will emphasize regenerative journey by the Hawaiian ancestral concept of malama which implies “to nurture.” The 4 pillars, he stated, will probably be a guiding pressure.

“Everyone 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 to care for 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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