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Charting a New Course For Hawai‘i Tourism

Charting a New Course For Hawai‘i Tourism

Charting a New Course For Hawai‘i Tourism

Identifying Areas of Cost-effective Watershed Management for Groundwater Recharge Protection on Hawai‘i island

Identifying Areas of Cost-effective Watershed Management for Groundwater Recharge Protection on Hawai‘i island

Identifying Areas of Cost-effective Watershed Management for Groundwater Recharge Protection on Hawai‘i island

Identifying Areas of Cost-effective Watershed Management for Groundwater Recharge Protection on Hawai‘i island

Identifying Areas of Cost-effective Watershed Management for Groundwater Recharge Protection on Hawai‘i island

Identifying Areas of Cost-effective Watershed Management for Groundwater Recharge Protection on Hawai‘i island

Annual Hawaii Forecast with Asia-Pacific Outlook: Moderation Ahead as Business Cycle Matures


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Charting a New Course For Hawai‘i Tourism

Despite a string of record visitor arrivals now totaling almost ten million annually, Hawai‘i tourism shows signs of trouble. Inflation-adjusted spending per visitor has trended downward. Diminishing economic contribution, eroding resident sentiment, and increasing congestion and stress on sites and attractions provide evidence that the current governance model is inadequate for effectively managing the increasingly complex issues facing Hawai‘i tourism.

UHERO Brief

 


Mandatory Food Waste Recycling Ordinance for Large Food Establishments in Honolulu, Hawaii

A recent study by two University of Hawaii at Manoa researchers estimates that more than 26% of the available food supply in Hawaii is discarded each year. Food waste occurs at all stages of the food supply chain-- after food is harvested, during packaging, shipping and storage, and finally by consumers. Since most of the food consumed in Hawaii is imported, most of the food waste in Hawaii occurs at the consumer level.

Working Paper


Rethinking Hawaii Tourism: Time to Shift from Marketing to Managing Tourism?

We know from Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) resident surveys that Hawaii residents perceive tourism is our economic lifeline, but it is also a cause of significant number of problems in our lives. Even though most respondents still think tourism brings more benefits than costs to our state, the percent of those who think otherwise has been rising for some time. That perception is supported by Paul Brewbaker’s presentation today. Paul’s main point (backed by striking charts) is that tourism’s economic benefits have not risen while its negative social costs to residents have been rising steadily. I made the same observation in my UHERO Brief, “Sustainable Tourism Development and Overtourism,” November 15, 2017. As tourism continues to set “records”, according to HTA, the negative social costs of tourism will become more burdensome relative to tourism’s benefits.

This brief was prepared for the Hawaii Economic Association panel, Rethinking Hawaii Tourism: 21st Century Solutions for 21st Century Challenges, with Frank Haas, Paul Brewbaker and John Knox.

Revised: Posted May 16, 2018

UHERO Brief

 


Making Sense of Mandatory Resort Fees

More than 1,000 hotels in the U.S. require guests to pay a mandatory resort fee, stated as a fixed dollar amount per room per night of occupancy, in addition to the base room rate. According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), approximately 7% of U.S. hotels charge resort fees. Resort fees cover such services as parking, phone calls, in-room Wifi, daily bottled water, coffee maker, health club access, and so on. Included services vary from hotel to hotel. Hotels still include some services such as housekeeping, basic toiletries and television in their base room rate. By making the resort fee mandatory, a resort-fee hotel is bundling some services with the room but is disclosing a separate fee. The average resort fee in the U.S. is around $21. Resort fees generate about $2.7 billion in annual revenues to domestic hotels. The number of resort fee hotels and resort fee revenues in the U.S. are increasing rapidly.

UHERO Brief

 


Time to End the Preferential Taxation of Timeshare Occupancy?

Timeshares comprise a significant percentage of visitor accommodations in Hawaii. There are currently over 11,000 timeshare units in the state, and unlike traditional hotel accommodations, their number keeps growing. Timeshare visitors represented almost 10% of all visitor arrivals in Hawaii during the third quarter of 2017. In Hawaii timeshare owners are required to pay an occupancy tax to the State. State lawmakers want to increase the amount timeshare owners pay.

UHERO Brief

 


Sustainable Tourism Development and Overtourism

Everyone agrees that tourism should be developed in a sustainable way. Yet, nearly 25 years after the term “sustainable tourism” became fashionable, sustainable tourism development remains elusive. Residents in many popular destinations around the world complain about being overwhelmed by too many tourists, or “overtourism”. The United Nations World Tourism Organization blames the problem on poor management, and not because of growing number of tourists. This brief report examines how some destinations are dealing with the problem of overtourism. The report also examines the growth of tourism in Hawaii since the late 1980s. While there are many problems in managing tourism growth in Hawaii in a sustainable way, the report concludes that Hawaii is not yet at the stage of overtourism.

UHERO Brief

 


HPR: Carl Bonham on Hawaii's Transient Accommodation Tax

Carl Bonham joins Hawaii Public Radio to explain why lawmakers favor Hawaii’s Transient Accommodation Tax (TAT) as a source of revenue.
For a history of the TAT, see UHERO Fellow Jim Mak's paper
How Hawaii’s State Government Shares Transient Accommodation Tax Revenues With Its Local Governments

READ


Is Hawaii's Hotel Room Tax Law Obsolete?

With tax collections falling behind expectations, State lawmakers are pressuring the tax department to increase effort to collect uncollected taxes from internet sales.* In 2015 the State Attorney General’s Office scored a “major” victory when the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that online travel companies (OTCs) are required to pay Hawaii’s general excise tax (GET) on their hotel bookings. Subsequently, the Tax Appeal Court ordered OTCs to pay $53.1 million in back general excise taxes plus interest to the state.

*Source: Honolulu Star Advertiser, “Collection of online taxes pushed,” January 29, 2017.

UHERO Brief


The Exorbitant Cost of Collecting Honolulu’s Rail Surcharge Tax

Act 247, SLH 2005, granted counties the authority to impose a county surcharge of no more than 0.5% on gross income that is subject to the State’s GET [General Excise Tax] at the rate of 4.0% to fund county public transportation systems...  The City and County of Honolulu was the only county to adopt the surcharge, which took effect on January 1, 2007. The State keeps 10.0% of the collections from the county surcharge as administrative costs, and Honolulu County receives the remaining 90.0% of the collections.

Hawaii’s State Government has unnecessarily profited from the Honolulu rail project. It is time for State lawmakers to rethink the 10% administrative fee. Right now, it is exorbitant. A more reasonable fee is between 0.5% and 1.0%.

UHERO Brief


How Hawaii’s State Government Shares Transient Accommodation Tax Revenues With Its Local Governments

Many states in the U.S. give unrestricted financial support to their local governments. The reasons some state governments provide aid and others do not, and why a particular mode of revenue sharing is adopted remain unclear. This paper examines Hawaii’s recent effort at developing a model to allocate the state’s transient accommodation tax revenues between the State and the county governments. The paper documents the process and explains the rationale behind the model.

WORKING PAPER


Creating Tourism Improvement Districts to Raise Stable Funding for Destination Marketing and Promotion

Tourism Improvement Districts (TIDs), modeled after the more well-known Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), are increasing rapidly in the U.S. With enabling legislation from state and local governments, TIDs allow hoteliers in a tourist destination to ban together to impose compulsory assessments on nearly all the hotels in the district in order to raise money to fund destination marketing. To date, research on TIDs have come almost exclusively from destination marketing organizations (DMOs), travel associations, TIDs, and consultants with vested interest in the formation and expansion of TIDs. This paper synthesizes information from available reports and attempts to provide a more balanced view of the role of TIDs in destination tourism marketing and promotion.

Working paper


Creating "Paradise of the Pacific": How Tourism Began in Hawaii

This article recounts the early years of one of the most successful tourist destinations in the world, Hawaii, from about 1870 to 1940. Tourism began in Hawaii when faster and more predictable steamships replaced sailing vessels in trans-Pacific travel. Governments (international, national, and local) were influential in shaping the way Hawaii tourism developed, from government mail subsidies to steamship companies, local funding for tourism promotion, and America’s protective legislation on domestic shipping. Hawaii also reaped a windfall from its location at the crossroads of the major trade routes in the Pacific region. The article concludes with policy lessons.

WORKING PAPER


The Growing Importance of Tourism in the Global Economy and International Affairs

For tourism-dependent countries and destinations, tourism’s share of GDP can exceed twice the world average. Today, international tourism receipts exceed $1 billion per year in some 90 nations. Worldwide, domestic tourism is typically several times larger. Tourism truly has become a global economic and social force.

- by Carl Bonham and James Mak

Full Published Article: Bonham, Carl, and Mak, James. "The Growing Importance of Tourism in the Global Economy and International Affairs." Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, 22 July 2014.


Are Hotel Property Taxes Fully Passed on to Hotel Guests?

Recent research on the excise tax effects of the property tax in small, multi-sector open economies suggests that the property tax may not be fully forward shifted to consumers as previously believed. I adapt this analysis to examine whether local hotel property taxes in Hawaii are fully passed on to hotel guests as lawmakers had intended. We conclude that full forward shifting is unlikely. I argue that an excise/sales tax on hotel occupancy is preferable to the property tax as a tourist tax.

Published Version: Mak, James. "Research Note: Are hotel property taxes fully passed on to hotel guests? Implications from recent research on property tax incidence." Tourism Economics 21.4 (2015): 899-905. Web.

WORKING PAPER


How China’s Approved Destination Status Policy Spurs and Hinders Chinese Travel Abroad

China’s “Approved Destination Status (ADS) policy allows citizens of mainland China to take pleasure trips abroad on group package tours to countries that have negotiated and implemented agreements with China. In this paper, we examine the reasons for this unique preferential and incremental travel liberalization system and how it affects mainland Chinese outbound pleasure travel.

 Working Paper

 


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