Wednesday, May 18, 2022 |
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• A busy summer is upon us
A busy summer is upon us
Ready or not, Kaua‘i is facing a busy summer for the visitor industry. Record visitor-arrival counts show a trend upwards, likely driven by the fear of terrorism occurring on a visit to Europe, and because the economy is perking in key areas that send visitors in large numbers to Kaua‘i. Our hotels, restaurants and parks are sure to be as full as ever, and our infrastructure of roads and airports are going to be taxed to their limits.
This means stress on our local population as the visitor population increases. How we as an island community handle this influx of visitors will bring out the best, and possibly in some instances the worst, in us. Drivers should be ready for more and longer traffic jams as visitors spread out across the island. Shoppers should be ready for longer lines in grocery stores, at the movies and elsewhere. How might we defuse this situation? How about: going the extra mile in spreading aloha; planning extra time when commuting to work or going on other time-sensitive drives; getting to the airport a bit earlier. The positive side of the probable summer influx of visitors is a boost to our economy, which according to tax-revenue figures and other economic signals is doing well. This means more prosperity for workers and their families. Stepping back and imagining the visitor trend heading down instead of up is another way to better deal with a busy visitor summer. Extra work is preferable to most workers when compared to cutbacks and layoffs. Having the expendable income for an off-island family vacation, rather than staying home ourselves, is another plus for some. While relying on tourism, which can be a fickle industry, as the mainstay of our economy, can backfire if a hurricane or other event stifles the arrival of visitors, it is what we have to live with. We need to appreciate that visitors can go elsewhere, and that while not all of us need the income that the visitor industry provides, the majority of workers on Kaua‘i rely on these dollars. Directly or indirectly, tourism is what keeps Kaua‘i’s world spinning today.
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