Hawaii News Hanauma Bay to require online payments for nonresidents By Allison Schaefers firstname.lastname@example.org Nov. 29, 2021 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! CRAIG T. KOJIMA / NOV. 12 Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve starting Wednesday will require online reservations for nonresidents, including online payment of $25 per person, plus a 2.35% service fee for paying online. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve on Wednesday will begin requiring non-Hawaii residents, ages 13 and up, to confirm their reservations with an online fee. Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve on Wednesday will begin requiring non-Hawaii residents, ages 13 and up, to confirm their reservations with an online fee. Starting at 7 a.m. Wednesday, the online reservation system, pros.hnl.info, will require credit card payments of $25 per person, with an additional 2.35% service fee for the online payment. Parking, which will be collected on-site, remains at $1 per vehicle for Hawaii residents and $3 per vehicle for others. Online reservations may be made up to 48 hours in advance for educational video show times from 7 a.m. to 1:40 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays. The website said tickets are in high demand and could sell out within five minutes of becoming available. Reservations are nontransferable, and valid photo identification matching the printed or digital confirmation is required to enter. Reservations can be made for up to 10 people at a time, including a maximum of five adults and five children. Refunds are not available unless the city has to close Hanauma Bay due to unforeseen circumstances. This latest action builds on earlier city changes designed to improve the visitor experience at Hanauma Bay and reduce impact on the surrounding community. Hanauma Bay was designated as the state’s first Marine Life Conservation District in 1967, and by the 1970s and 1980s, attendance had peaked to upward of 10,000 people a day. As recently as 2016, Hanauma Bay made the annual top-10 list of America’s best beaches compiled by coastal science professor Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach. But the popular place was getting loved too much, prompting the city and the community to work together on tourism management strategies. In 2019, Hanauma Bay’s visitation averaged about 3,000 people each day it was open. Average daily visitation now is about 1,500, and based on conservation improvements to the bay during the pandemic, there is not an immediate plan to return visitation to more normal times. Fee increases and an online reservation system have served as speed bumps to prevent unchecked growth as Hawaii tourism recovers. The city increased Hanauma Bay’s entrance fees to $12 from $7.50 in October 2020 and then in July increased them to $25. The city controls visitation through an online reservation system that it built in-house and launched April 26; however, up until now it couldn’t take payments. Laura Thielen, Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation director, said in a statement: “When we first launched the online reservation system in April, one of the first things we noticed were ‘no shows,’ or people not honoring their confirmed reservations. “Not only did this take away a spot from another visitor, but it also resulted in the potential lost revenue if that reservation was made by a malihini visitor,” she said. “With payment now being accepted when the reservation is made, it motivates the visitor to honor that commitment, while also ensuring the funds are gathered to directly improve the nature preserve.” Payment is not required for Hawaii residents, children 12 years and younger, active-duty military personnel and their families with valid identification. Hawaii residents are allowed to access the nature preserve without a reservation for the first two hours of operation, from 7 to 9 a.m., Wednesdays through Sundays. To get complimentary entry, residents must present a current Hawaii driver’s license, current state ID or current Hawaii school student ID. Previous Story Hawaii Real Estate Sales: October 18 – October 22, 2021 Next Story Kokua Line: Where can I renew my license on a Saturday?