Letter for Thursday, April 22, 2021

Bills threaten HTA programs

Dear Kaua‘i folks;

I want to alert you to two house bills, HB200 SD1 and HB862 SD2, which if passed by the House and Senate will all but wipe out the existing programs of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority — the Community0-Enrichment programs, the Hawaiian-culture programs, the natural-resources programs — which have enhanced many community activities and events for all islands.

Can you imagine the “ghost-town” effect it will have on all the programs that we have enjoyed, including the Garden Island Arts Council’s E Kanikapila Kakou program?

It will wipe out the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai‘i program, which looks after the safety and security of our visitors.

HTA will become just a rubber-stamp entity, sending out PR to the world to come and visit the islands with all the exciting programs wiped out. Please email your legislator asap and ask them to oppose such a short-sighted pair of bills:

• repmorikawa@Capitol.hawaii.gov (Dee Morikawa);

• senkouchi@Capitol.hawaii.gov (Ronald Kouchi);

• reptokioka@Capitol.hawaii.gov (James Tokioka);

• repnakamura@Capitol.hawaii.gov (Nadine Nakamura).

Make your voices heard!


Carol Kouchi Yotsuda, Lihu‘e

  1. USAF Brat April 22, 2021 6:47 am Reply

    More drivel. WHEN was the first time these house or senate actually read any of WE the Peoples’ feedback? like NEVER!

  2. Ruta Jordans April 22, 2021 8:31 am Reply

    Carol, HB862 concerns PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL SPACE CENTER FOR EXPLORATION SYSTEMS. and HB200 is the general appropriations bill for all government expenditures. Would you please explain specifically what it is in each bill that you object to?

  3. Doug April 22, 2021 8:56 am Reply

    The HTA represents tourists and is worthless to residents, yet our money supports it. If they truly had a goal of controlling tourism for the benefit of the environment, I would support them. Instead all they do is cram more tourists in here as fast as they can. All of their “findings” and “rules” are tourist oriented, to the detriment of the islands. As to the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai‘i program, feel free to donate to this non profit if you feel the need, but no more taxpayer money should be spent on it. The state should to what Maui just did when they cut funding to the Maui Visitors Bureau in favor of using the funding for effectively managing tourism — by planning for a future that prioritizes community needs and by caring for their precious island resources.

  4. Uncleaina April 22, 2021 8:59 am Reply

    So they’d handle budget cuts by cutting all the important things like cultural programs and keeping all the trash things like advertising? That shows their priorities. No need to advertise Hawaii any longer – it’s not 1985 – people know that Hawaii exists and has the ocean and turtles and stuff.

  5. kauaidoug April 22, 2021 9:58 am Reply

    We need to look at tourism in a new way. Plain and simple. Tourism was turning or did turn into Frankenstein’s monster. Are we going to let this happen again> I’m afraid so as we rush back to chasing that almighty tourist dollar.

    If Hawaii is a wonderful place to live then the rest will follow, on our terms.

  6. D Woods April 22, 2021 10:00 am Reply

    Lets get rid of the Hawai’i Tourism Authority! They get millions of tax dollars. Let appropriate that same money to our farmers, small business and aging infrastructure. Tourist will still come (no need to advertise Hawaii any longer – it’s not 1985 – people know that Hawaii exists and has the ocean and turtles and stuff) and would love to see a rural, thriving, self-sufficient local style Kaua’i!

  7. RGLadder37 April 24, 2021 11:36 pm Reply

    They usually look down on Tourism. Not really care. But since you drove by Poipu and saw nothing at hotels that resemble tourist, and profits for the hotels there, I guess you had to dig into lobbying efforts. First off, how important is this to you? Frankly, if you’re not with HTA, big deal on these bills even when the economy is cranking up. Are for tourism? If no, find something else to Brag on. These representatives can’t to Jack shit anyway. Try harder. Go with business, but try harder.

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