Editorials for Monday — September 08, 2003

• Sustainable tourism study

• Gas price study

Sustainable tourism study

Sustainable tourism is a fancy way, in regards to Hawai‘i, to say what are the limits of tourism development in the context of island societies like Kaua‘i.

Honolulu consultants are kicking off a series of statewide meetings to see what the people of Hawai‘i think the limits of tourism development are, and what problems they foresee if more resorts are developed on Kaua‘i and other islands in Hawai‘i.

A study will be written using the public’s input, and provided to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the state Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism, and the State Planning Office. This study will then be used by in planning for the future of development in Hawai‘i.

On Kaua‘i, construction of a resort in the Maha‘ulepu area is likely to be discussed, as well as planned development on the North Shore, Eastside and Westside.

If members of the public are concerned about future tourism growth on Kaua‘i, this is the time to speak up.

The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Wilcox Elementary School Cafeteria.

Issues on the consulting firms agenda include Native Hawaiian issues, county planning, the environment, the visitor industry, small business. There is also to be a “Socio-Cultural” study done of the impact of tourism that exists already on Hawai‘i.

Background materials for this study are available at http://www.hawaiitourismstudy.com.

Gas price study

The deadline for enactment of a cap on gasoline prices is approaching. A study on gasoline prices in Hawai‘i is to be released today. Whether the report supports the gas cap, or shows reasons why there shouldn’t be a gas cap, the fact remains that the price of gasoline is continuing to rise on Kaua‘i, in Honolulu and other islands.

There have been spikes in prices in California and other states, but Hawai‘i still has the highest overall gas prices, as well as the highest state tax on gasoline.

Our long supply lines for oil, in most reaching across the Pacific and beyond to Indonesia, the higher cost of refining due to the relatively small volume consumed in Hawai‘i, as well as the high tax all contribute to the price.

The report should set the stage for major debate on the gas cap issue, with Gov. Linda Lingle supporting its elimination.


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