Letters for Friday, Dec. 9, 2016

• There is a cost for rising tourism on Kauai

There is a cost for rising tourism on Kauai

Do we or do we not have gridlock on our roads? Can we get to our favorite spots like Hanakapiai or Tunnels without being crowded out? Can we even find a place to park if we are willing to face those crowds?

Are we prepared to not get into Haena at all when the state starts its quota system? Are we having fun yet? How many more people can we squeeze in?

Someone is making a lot of money, but it might not be you while you try to live your life and enjoy your island. It’s getting harder to do that each year as visitor numbers increase.

Does having a year-over-year increase in visitors generate enough tax revenue to accommodate visitors and residents with free flowing traffic on enlarged streets or even repair the ones we have? Does the increasing visitor count allow us to update our deficient bridges or add in anyway to our existence and well being which we increasingly share with them?

Of course, they are spending their hard-earned money here and of course we have some jobs because of it. But where is the balance?

There is a non-relenting push for more tourism. More, more, more, leaving us with less.

Does anyone ask the people of Kauai if we want to continue with this push for larger amounts of visitors year after year? Has anyone asked us how much is too much? We passed too much a few years ago.

No one, it seems, wants to stop the HTA from promoting Hawaii. We’ve created a monster and it tells us we should be gratified. I am not.

A TGI article Friday called, “Tourism Rises on Kauai,” said October had a 3.1 percent increase over October of 2015. George D Szigeti, CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, tells us growth is good because it strengthens our tax revenue. He says, “It’s gratifying to know how much tourism is contributing to Hawaii’s economic success and supporting government services that all of our communities need.”

If only that were true, George Szigeti, but it’s hard to feel gratified navigating our crowded potholed streets or recreating at our crowded beaches or trails.

Tourism bringing economic success, and tourism taxes supporting our government services? We know there is some, we just can’t see it through the throngs of people.

Paulo Tambolo, Wailua Homesteads


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