With Hawaii tourism on the decline you would think that the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the State Government of Hawaii would get together and think of ways to attract more visitors rather than drive them away.
Working with local travel agencies, going online with interactive new media such as blogs, video and live streaming events would be my first choices, but of course we are a new media outlet and thus we think in those terms.
When I talk about the driving away of the already decreasing visitors coming to the islands I am referring to the recent announcement that weddings on the beautiful beaches in Hawaii will now require a state permit before they are to be conducted. While it may not be a lot of money to pay for a permit (10 cents per square foot), it is another hindrance in the process and can take anywhere from a week to a month to obtain the actual permit after the application has been processed.
Why can’t we remove such a ban and promote the beautiful scenery for a memory of a lifetime. How many out there would be absolutely thrilled to have a marriage on the beaches of Hawaii if it was promoted as the premier destination for such an event because of the beauty, weather, Hawaiian customs and the EASE of use of the public beach.
Now while I do understand that many of the primary complaints relate to the use of parking for wedding members in areas that are already packed with beach goers, I still feel that there must be a way that these organizations and that the State of Hawaii can come up with better policies to alleviate the hardship of such a memorable life event.
Now I’m sure that this move was not intended as a deterrence against travelers to Hawaii, but in reality it sure has started looking that way. Rising fuel prices, the departure of the cruise ships in Hawaii, the increasing daily spending required while visiting and now PERMITS FOR WEDDINGS are making their rounds as the anti-Hawaii factor and causing many travelers to rethink their choice of visiting Hawaii. Unless the mighty tourism powers that be can come together and strengthen the allure of Hawaii, it looks like this economy that relies on tourism is headed for more of a slump.
August 1, 2008 is the start of the REQUIRED beach wedding permits from DLNR
Waialae Beach Park Wedding (Jim & Laura) – Courtesy of Jim & Laura Coleman