Tourism in Hawaii

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In fact, Hawaii's economy has experienced both economic and unpleasant effects from tourism. Travel has been seen as the most important stage in advancing Hawaii's economy over the past decade or so years. For instance, Hawaii's GDP grew by roughly 15% between 2003 and 2005 as a result of an increase in visitors who reached about 7.4 million (Tian, Mak and Leung, 2011). In addition, jobs have been created, with the majority of locals finding work in the hotels and resorts catering to tourists. Even if economic development has increased, the sector has also brought about negative repercussions like overpopulation, stress on natural resources, pressure on the natural resources and pollution of the environment. Therefore, this intends to comprehensively discuss the advantages and the disadvantages of tourism in Hawaii.


Tourism in has become the backbone of the Hawaii's economy. Over the years, the revenue collection has continuously increased and this makes the sector precious in the economy. For instance, the number of visitors rose to 7.4 million in years between 2003 and 2005 and this translated to 15% growth of the economy (Tian, Mak and Leung, 2011). Also, the revenue collection due to the spending of the internal and the external visitors in the year 2010 increased to $14.735 billion (Tian, Mak and Leung, 2011). The industry has also increased the tax collection. For instance, in the year 2007, the taxes collected from the visitors directly amounted to $1.20 billion and this was 25% higher than the general tax collection (Laney, 2009). Additionally, tourism also provides opportunities for the relatively small enterprises for the local communities and this further generate additional revenues such as the airport and the hotel taxes. Job creation in Hawaii due to tourism has also increased. The creation of the job for the local population through direct employment in the tourism industry has been realized and indirectly attained in the retail as well as transportation sectors. Finally, even though there are benefits that Hawaii gets from the tourism sector, the same industry has led to overpopulation and depletion of the natural resources.


Overpopulation is a grave concern of Hawaii at the moment. The population of Hawaii consists of both residents and the visitors and this has continuously grown and hence the need to provide additional housing, resources and the recreational opportunities. The concentration of the population in Hawaii has led to pressure on the natural resources as a result of uncontrolled population growth and the urban areas expansion. First, the overpopulated area is exposed to all forms of pollution from water, solid waste and air. These hazards have become a threat to the continued sustainability of the state. The Hawaii's aquatic environment has been depleted due to pollution of the water and thus corrosion of the coral reefs. According to Darowski, Strilchuk, Sorochuk and Provost (2007), the local Hawaiians are struggling to preserve the environment due to the threats caused by overpopulation. The rise of tourism has also led to a higher need for housing development for the visitors and due to lack of space, excavation of the burial grounds has been one of the options for building more houses. Darowski, Strilchuk, Sorochuk and Provost (2007) assert that to sustain the development required for the growing population, the destruction and pollution of the Hawaii forests and the natural habitats in the ocean have been the target.


Darowski, L., Strilchuk, J., Sorochuk, J., & Provost, C. (2007). Negative Impact of Tourism on Hawaii Natives and Environment.

Laney, L. O. (2009). Assessing tourism’s contribution to the Hawaii economy. Economic Forecast, Special Report. Honolulu: First Hawaiian Bank.

Tian, E., Mak, J., & Leung, P. (2011). The direct and indirect contributions of tourism to regional GDP: Hawaii. Honolulu, HI, USA: The Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawaii, 22.

February 09, 2023

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United States Economy

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