How to Reduce the Negative Impacts of Tourism

August 21, 2019, 1:09 PM HST · Updated August 22, 9:01 AM
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Limiting the number of rental cars on county roads, placing a moratorium on new hotel construction and instilling a “code of conduct” for incoming tourists.

Those were some of the ideas offered up by testifiers at the Maui County Council Environmental, Agricultural and Cultural Preservation Committee. The agenda item they were testifying upon was the adoption of a proposed resolution entitled “Urging the Administration to Conduct a Sustainable Tourism Assessment.”

The council deferred action on the resolution for the time being, however Maui Now would like to offer up the question to our readers. How should the county/state/tourism industry reduce or limit the negative impacts of tourism while keeping the economic benefits?

Some of the examples given by testifiers before council were tourists not respecting locals fishing from the shoreline as well as traffic and overcrowding issues.

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Maui Now put together a list of Tourist Do’s and Don’ts earlier this summer, however those were suggestions for tourists to follow on their own. This time we are looking for ideas about actual laws or rules that could be passed that might help to preserve natural areas and lessen cultural impacts.

One example are the rules at Hanauma Bay on Oʻahu. Tourists must watch a film at the bay’s Marine Education Center that teaches them how to help preserve the area’s natural resources by following some simple rules:

1. Stand only on sand.

2. Observe but don’t touch the reef.

3. Watch the fish but don’t feed them.

4. Do not litter.

5. Use the restrooms before you swim.

What kind of ideas do you have? Let us know in the comments below and thanks for participating.

Small traffic backup on the way to Hāna

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