What to Expect From Tourism This Year


Tour busses on Koa Ave dropping tourists off at the Hyatt Regency

Oahu’s weather at all times of the year is pretty much ideal which makes it no surprise that this place evolved to become a top vacation destination. In 2016, roughly 8.9 million tourists came to Hawaii, which is a number that has been increasing by 3% each year. The tourism industry is a major money making industry that keeps getting larger as the years go on. Hawaii can expect to see 12 million tourists visit the islands in 2018 and seeing that it is now December, 2018 is just around the corner.

Dr. Richard Bordner, a CUH professor of geography has been involved in environmental research related to tourism since 1975. Bordner has also been a consultant with several tour agencies and or airlines since 1993.

“The top one is gonna be the whole issue of what is the sustainable number of tourists? Especially when you’re marketing both environment and cultural activities at some point you get to the point of overload” said Bordner when asked what the top issues that tourism in 2018 will cause for Hawaii residents.

“If people feel that there are too many tourists around there, and the population is not happy, then you ruin your very market. Basically, you make a mess in your back yard, which is impossible to recover from. Part of that is also part-time residents. If you make the economic situation in Hawaii unviable for the very population that you’re marketing behind this whole “Aloha” thing. Then you end up with a situation where you have nothing to sell” said Bordner.  

Tourists who comes to Oahu for a week at a time are not the only people who contribute to the overpopulation problem. A part-time resident is someone who maintains two households; one in the U.S. and one in another country. Usually they live in one for the majority of the year, and one where they’ll be for only a few weeks out of the year. Part-time residents make up a good portion of the population however the numbers are not completely known because it is difficult to track people who come for roughly 200 days.

Oahu already struggles with high demands on resources like clean water and electricity, which makes an increasing population more difficult to support. In a 2015 article by Hawaii News Now called Priced Out of Paradise journalist Mileka Lincoln states, “Electricity rate is twice as expensive per kilowatt hour as the next costliest state.” Rent and utilities make it extremely difficult for middle class families to continue living in Hawaii which continues to create a gap between the extremely wealthy and the low income bracket.

Spread across all islands, more than 1,000 people move to Hawaii each month, according to civilbeat.org, but these people are moving into an incredibly small amount of space. This makes the price of property go up, which makes it no surprise that the majority of people don’t own their own properties in Hawaii.

On the other hand people who may have owned property for generations are getting priced out of their homes because mansions keep going up all around them, which makes their property tax increase till they are forced to sell their homes and leave.

All around Oahu is crowded and will only get more crowded going into 2018 which will cause more development resulting in less space, increased prices on shipped goods (everything), higher rent, and worse traffic. Politicians have proposed putting a limit on the amount of people that can visit Hawaii, however the U.S. gov. has decided that it is unconstitutional to deny a U.S. citizen the right to travel to on of the states. Thus Oahu must only brace herself for the increasing weight that looming and ever increasing.