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71 thoughts on “Hawaii In A Sometimes Visitor-Unfriendly World”

  1. Very nice article. I talk to a lot of visitors in my business and what you describe happening here with shortages of labor and rising costs is not unique to Hawaii. The people I talk to say the same thing is happening wherever they are from on the mainland? Of course we’re tourism based here but we are not alone. During COVID we were it and people now are going other places and will as long as the perception of Hawaii as low value, meaning high prices and and perceived local animosity, is widespread. It’s all good, lucky live Kaua’i.

  2. Paradise lost from my recent trip. It appears that if one has not been to Maui, one will not recognize the detriment changes. The Whaler Walkway that goes up along the hotels south: The walkway beautiful grass is now filled with plastic water toys, massage tables. Several of the resorts are looking worn and need of repair and updating. Some are getting remodeled. The beautiful sculptures are being swallowed up by selling shacks, etc. It appears the “new condo/resort” area heading north of the Sheraton is the new updated area. But full of artificial beauty taking away so much green space. Too many humans on Earth. Obvious rodent issues with feral cats to chase them away at every resort now. Locals clearly do not like tourists!

  3. Aloha. As a former mainland Airport Commissioner for a tourist town Hawaii needs to accept responsibility for increased visitors. County decision makers have approved airport expansions adding additional gates to airports. Perhaps it’s time for decision makers and Hawaiian voters to reflect on their past actions and stop approving more airport expansions allowing more visitors

    1. We have done that at Lihue airport I’m very glad to say. Well take the extended runway and modernize what we have, no need extra 300,000 people a year.

    2. You know nothing about that matter…. The airport do what they like without the publics opinion… They don’t care about Hawaii and what Hawaii needs… Hawaiian airlines have been Robbing us blind after aloha airlines was no more. thanks to Southwest airlines making travel more affordable within the islands.

  4. Hawaii is finding itself a “paradise lost” due to many reasons. Most of this is can be summed up to the Obnoxious, Relentless, Greed of the Hoteliers, including Resorts. Secondly, there’s the Politicians at all levels that shouldn’t have any problem getting future employment with the Hotel and Resort industry. Beyond that, the treatment of visitors/tourists by some residents should be realized as vocal terrorism, it truly is. Hawaii is a State, there I’ve said it, get over it! Without Statehood, Federal Aid, your Islands would be very different. Think pineapple fields.

  5. Politicians and many locals play the blame game for environmental impact from “over tourism.”
    In the meantime, Oahu has nearly 5,000 homeless people, most of whom defecate in the streets and waterways, vandalize parks and businesses, commit crimes at will, harass law abiding citizens, and leave trash and hypodermic needles everywhere! For the most part, tourist come here, spend money, and leave. I wish I had in laws like that! Hawaii, (especially Oahu) need to clean up their own houses first and foremost!

  6. Everyone saying how the hotels have it great and all is well.

    Not so fast:

    The Grand Wailea Resort in Maui has been added to the default watchlist on an $800 million unpaid loan @ 46% occupancy rate


    46% occupancy rate and the economy is just starting to slow!

    1. The Grand Wailea Resort on Maui is owned by Blackstone. I think Blackstone will be ok? In case you are wondering – they are not local. The Grand Wailea is the largest user of water on Maui, where residents and farmers are sometimes required to conserve water. Current job listings at the Grand Wailea: $21.85/hr for a Housekeeper, $23.15/hr for a laundry attendant, $14/hr for a Bellperson. Rates at the Grand Wailea start at: $1086/night.

      1. Very interesting. Somehow in my head I thought it was still owned by Michael Dell. Looks like he unloaded it to Blackstone. Ugghh, Blackstone, private equity. No wonder about all the stuff you posted and the problems.

        Maybe they can unload the debt onto pension funds.

        I couldn’t care less for the hotels or the STR junk (most of the STR junk is run through corporates……VRBO, Airbnb – they have almost no assets and put all risk on owners, and skim the rest…..smart). They could all care less about local communities.

      2. The wages you stated that Grand Wailea are not to shabby.
        That is about average of what people make in the mainland states.
        Coconuts Cafe is hiring for $26 and hour. That is alot!

    2. Grand Wailea workers recently filed a class-action lawsuit alleging owners of the luxury hotel giant misclassified hundreds of spa and salon workers, groundskeepers, facilities maintenance personnel and window washers as independent contractors in a “fraudulent scheme” to avoid pay and benefits.
      “Bolos is believed to be representative of a victimized class of vulnerable workers, including Native Hawaiian and immigrant communities, who have been systematically exploited and historically reluctant to question their working conditions out of fear of losing their jobs and suffering further economic hardship,” according to her lawyers.

      Exploitation of Hawaii’s resources and people? Bill Now you are really onto something!

      1. What type of “immigrants” are you speaking of being exploited?
        If they are illegal invaders, they need to be deported.
        Hawaii has alot of illegal non American citizens.
        And those illegals got free Goverment Aide both Federal and state funds from the fires on Maui.
        Why is no one speaking of that in the mix of the state of Hawaii’s problems?

    3. I spent my life in corporations. I was literally in the room as we shifted profits offshore and to countries where it couldn’t be tracked (creating losses). I was also in the room when we shifted ownership of assets every few years in order to make them losses (using corporations spread throughout the world.) And there are myriad ways to control assets and cash without legally owning them. My point is that accounting has largely become a fiction, and many people get quite rich as companies are sold or declare bankruptcy. (And we routinely entertained Congressmen, Presidents, and Vice-Presidents – who crafted the laws needed to keep everything secret.) If you didn’t already know, we live in a very corrupt world. I wish this weren’t so.

  7. It may be simplistic, but how about banning corporations from owning any sort of residence? This means that only individuals could buy homes and rentals. Corporations are not humans and don’t need housing.

  8. It would be nice if you shared with us what projects have been completed using all the TAT and additional Maui 3% TAT tax. The government is always raising taxes “to go towards upgrading tourist experiences etc.”, and yet we don’t hear exactly what the money has been applied towards. Thanks for any insight you may have on this subject. We always pay pay pay and yet we don’t hear (transparency) when these funds are used and to what they are used for.

    1. Laurie,
      The state used to kick back the 3% (about 25% of the total tax collected) to the counties. Then, the state decided they wanted to keep that money, so the counties added the 3%. Of course, the state and counties knew this was the plan. So, the state gave itself a 25% raise, and the counties break even.

  9. I feel a bunch of different ways about this. Plenty of my friends make really good money owning or working at ST(V)R’s on different island in Hawaii (I live on the Big Island). In 30 years I’ve seen and heard it all but the underlying needs and wants are still the same: we need more housing and we need our tourists to support jobs and our economy. We need to stop making “enemies” of the tourists and those nasty STVR’s /s. I feel like the war on tourism is so short sighted and cringe worthy. We need to be aloha: Honor the past but be in the present. Build some more housing instead of using it for cattle!! Let folks make money and afford to live here!! Welcome our lovely wonderful tourists!! Ran out of space!!

  10. I am sure there are others like me that are just weary of the years of mixed messages who have just decided to take a wait and see approach and see what the next 5 or so years brings. My hope is that somehow this plan works for the many locals that desire nothing more than the rest of us… Affordable housing and job security. As so many of the comments have pointed out in the past, the governors plan seems unlikely to really be able to pull that off with or without anti tourism sentiment.As much as I love HI, travelers just need to move on and find other places to enjoy & just let this shake out and let the locals have the old days and old ways back. Prayers for HI

    1. Is affordable housing even real on an island way out from anything?
      You choose to live on an island, its going to be more expensive.
      To think it will not be, is out of touch with reality.
      Almost everything that you have an on island with modern day amenities & housing will cost you more.
      Shipping it to the island via ships & planes cost a lot!
      Quite frankly, I am tired of some Hawaiins complaining of affordable housing.
      The mainland states are having the same issues.
      In Hawaii, yes its more comparatively to some places on the mainland, but again it costs more to get the lumber, gas, food, etc to you.
      If all the Hawaiin islands want to live like the real natives on Niihau, then you will have no tourism & no cost of living.


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