Hawaii Requests Tourist Contributions to Cover Environmental Impact

Hawaii’s natural environment requires resources in the form of time, labor, and money. The US state now wants visitors to contribute to the cost. This is a result of an increase in visitors who come to the islands to take advantage of the outdoor activities. Legislators in Hawaii are debating a bill that would charge people to enter state parks for a yearly license or permit. The monies would be raised in order to preserve the wildlife, woods, and coral reefs that draw a large number of visitors to the islands. The Democratic governor of the state is Josh Green. “We only have 1.4 million people living here, but we get between nine and ten million visitors a year,” the speaker stated.

 

Politicians are still arguing over the price they would impose. The governor ran on a platform last year advocating for a $50 entry fee for all visitors to the state. According to lawmakers, this would go against the US Constitution’s guarantees of unrestricted travel. On the other hand, they believe that park and trail admission should be paid for. For any state in the union, any policy would be the first of its type. Hawaii’s authorities are imitating other well-known tourist destinations that impose comparable levies or fees. These include the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador and Venice, Italy.

 

The chairman of the House Tourism Committee is Representative Sean Quinlan, a state legislator from Hawaii. He claimed that part of Hawaii’s effort is changes in traveler behavior. According to him, trekking has climbed by 50% over the previous ten years, whereas the number of golf rounds per guest has decreased by 30%. In addition, many are looking for remote locations that they have seen on social media. The state lacks the funding necessary to monitor and secure each of these locations. At the moment, most state parks and trails are free. A few of the most well-known ones, including Diamond Head State Monument, already have admission fees. Hikers can ascend this trail to the summit of a 300,000-year-old volcano from its base. It receives one million visits annually and charges $5 for each guest.

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