Officials consider Oahu plan amid tourist levels concerns

July 19, 2021 GMT

HONOLULU (AP) — As state tourism officials consider a plan to improve tourism on Hawaii’s most populated island of Oahu, they’re looking managing what some say are too many visitors.

It’s an issue other islands have also been grappling with, including Maui, where Mayor Mike Victorino recently asked airlines to limit service to the island.

Even though the pandemic’s effects on tourism still linger, with Hawaii Tourism Authority data showing Oahu visitor arrivals down nearly 39% from 2019, residents are telling officials that there are too many visitors.

“During the pandemic, people figured out how nice it was not to have so many tourists,” said activist KC Connors, who is a member of the Facebook group Enough Tourists Already. “If Oahu is already filled to capacity at this stage of reopening, what’s going to happen when the international visitors come back?”

The concerns come as the tourism authority is developing the Oahu Destination Management Action Plan, which will detail steps the community, the visitor industry and others deem necessary to improve tourism over the next three years, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

The tourism authority board is expected to vote next week on the plan, which will be released to the public in August.