This week, as the state predicted that 2019 would wrap up with a record-breaking 10.5 million visitor count, the Hawaii Tourism Authority added “responsible tourism” to its marketing lineup, which has previously focused on promoting the state’s natural beauty and Hawaiian culture.
It’s true that visitors and the tourism industry can benefit from guidance on how to help protect our natural resources. However, as some attendees at HTA’s Fall Tourism Update noted, it’s also true that Hawaii’s environmental conservation efforts are chronically underfunded compared with other destinations. Expect the 2020 Legislature to consider a green tax.
Economic indicators point up, and down
Pity the economist who must make sense of data points that don’t always line up.
A report from Hawaii Auto Outlook sees a slowing economy and sagging car sales. But also this week, the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism revised upward its forecast for visitor arrivals to increase by 5.7%, not 3.5%, and slightly boosted its quarterly growth projection.
Only a few months ago, a University of Hawaii report saw things heading south. Time to consult a crystal ball?