Growing tourism not necessarily good

Sue Kanoho tells us how wonderful she thinks the tourism increases are for the island (TGI, Feb. 1). How wonderful it is that the tax revenue and the total amount of money spent by tourists has increased dramatically and the future shows with the daily increase of flights in the spring, it’s going to be even better for 2018.

As I see it, her mind is so congested over this, that she has failed to realize or mention what these wonderful things are doing to the quality of life for residents.

The challenges and changes that are taking place because of this continually growing tourism is raising havoc on our environment, services, and needs of those who live here. We are definitely approaching and in some cases surpassing the capacity to reasonably accommodate our increasing visitor counts.

Sue Kanoho just like her boss George Szigeti and the minds of our politicians who apparently are blinded by all the “money” they see, and for that reason fail to mention the impacts of it all.

I think what should bother us most is the fact there was 230,000 visitors on any day state wide and they spent $16.8 billion, yet we have no money for infrastructure that’s being pounded daily by our tourist friends, a back log of $100 million in road maintenance mostly due to thousands of rental cars on our roads daily which is causing the unnecessary traffic congestion that has cost effective solutions if implemented.

We have deplorable conditions in our park facilities where recently Ms. Yukimura was forced to leave Kokee park and find a working restroom in Waimea town. And to make matters worse a county council who decides to increase our excise tax because it was the only “creative” way they know how to solve a problem that more than likely with their track record over decades won’t solve it.

Because of all this I can see the reality of it. It’s all of us who use our “popularity contest” election system to bring inexperienced non-professional people to serve us. We are the ones who are ultimately responsible for what’s taking place, for not demanding the changes needed for the destruction of our quality of life we are experiencing.


Steve Martin is a Wailua Homesteads resident.

  1. gordon oswald February 3, 2018 6:59 am Reply

    Thank you Steve for a thoughtful, accurate, and wonderful letter that I hope every person who reads it can understand and take action for. Including Sue!

  2. John Zwiebel February 3, 2018 7:13 am Reply

    This is why I give a monthly check to Planned Parenthood. The world was approaching a mere 3 billion people when I was in first grade. There will be more than 9 billion when I die. New homes are going up all over Kauai (mine being one I admit). And the demand for affordable housing is skyrocketing. It should be obvious that there are too many people living a lifestyle that steals from future generations. The new mining claims made in the National Monuments that Trump just slashed will result in mine tailings spread all over the land making it unusable for anything else and destroying the water in that area making it undrinkable. Funny thing, China seems to be doing something about this while the USA allows Trump’s oligarch friends to reap undeserved rewards from destroying the planet we live on.

  3. PauloT February 3, 2018 8:45 am Reply

    Why is it that we allow any TAT funds for adverts? Put the brakes on the Hawaiian Tourism Authority. Better yet disband them. They are wasting our tax revenue that needs to go straight to infrastructure repair for the wear and tear all the extra visitors are causing. Visitors will still come without wasting funds on promotions.

    Does our state realize what a contentious issue this is? Or do they blindly continue on automatic pilot with no thought?

  4. akauian February 3, 2018 9:15 am Reply

    Mr. Martin, good comments. Please attend public hearing Feb. 21 at 1:30 — see “Ending term limits is a bad idea” TGI. Also see “Put district representation on the ballot” TGI and “Kagawa: End council term limits” TGI

  5. Travis February 3, 2018 12:46 pm Reply

    Agreed…. I work at the airport and the gate space is already over capacity.. We frequently hold aircraft off the gate for up to 40 minutes waiting for an open gate… The Jet bridges require maintenance for it it not uncommon for one of the 7 gates being out of service.. And they forecast and increase of 42% capacity in 2018… What are these folks smokin?

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