Moratorium on tourism accommodations makes sense

Is there a good reason not to implement a moratorium on new Kauai visitor destination resorts? It’s readily apparent that this island is on overload. No one is happy about it except the profiting visitor industry. The rest of us just try to cope with increasing numbers of visitors contributing to traffic and crowding our parks, trails, beaches, etc.

Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau, said, “But if you guys wanted me to stop marketing today, you’d feel the effect of that.”

Yes, I want Sue Kanoho and the Hawaii Tourism Authority to stop marketing. I want to feel the effect of a little elbow room, but I won’t. Eliminating further marketing would keep us at about status quo. The current resorts will continue operating. Our shops and restaurants will too.

In the off chance that tourism numbers did actually drop, why can’t the resorts fund their own advertising?

Our county has no money for department head raises, no money to widen or even patch streets, no money for essential infrastructure upgrades. Many of our bridges, including one of our most traveled crossing the Wailua, are considered structurally deficient.

This results in the county considering a raise of the GET and vehicle registrations fees (again) and possibly property tax increases on the horizon. How long are we going allow the visitor industry to profit while Kauai residents foot the bill?

Let our visitors see glimpses of Kauai the way it should be without one more new resort being built. Let the visitors rent their cars without restrictions, let them enjoy the island and the residents, before we make things worse by cramming in more tourism accommodations and causing more resident resentment.

Get our TAT back from the state so we can achieve basic infrastructure upgrades. No more extensions for the Coco Palms. No more resort construction until our infrastructure can handle it. It’s called planning. If not now, when?

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Paulo Tambolo is a resident of Wailua Homesteads.

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