Your headline article (“Strategy shift,” Tribune-Herald, May 9) left me shaking my head.
As you reported, the Hawaii Tourism Authority is changing its motto for the Big Island from “The Volcano Island” to “The Island of Endless Adventures.”
Because the volcano is no longer erupting, tourism officials are pushing the idea that there are lots of other things to do here, such as “hiking, camping and exploring.”
But as anyone who lives here knows, there are very few legal hikes or legal campgrounds on the Big Island outside of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
What the motto should be is: “The Island of Endless No Trespassing Signs.” Anywhere you want to go — fugetaboutit!
Now I would love it if the tourism authority would help to actually make the Big Island the island of endless adventures. Maybe they are the only ones with enough political pull to force the Department of Land and Natural Resources and the other parts of the state government to pay attention to the lack of public access to open spaces here.
If they did that, I would not complain about the HTA’s $108 million yearly budget.
What to do and see?
I see that the Hawaii Tourism Authority is pushing for out-of-state folks to come to our island again (“Strategy shift,” Tribune-Herald, May 9).
But what exactly can the visitors look forward to? Perhaps the same things we as residents see, day in and day out.
How about abandoned vehicles? What a sight that is. Or maybe the homeless, for an interaction with panhandlers.
Also, perhaps they can take a helicopter ride to see the actual effects, up close, of lava on the landscape. That is, of course, unless the residents below the flight path will prevent them from doing that.
Then, they always have the opportunity (unless the rental companies don’t have any cars available) to drive and catch the awesome view from the summit of our mountain. Wait, the protesters might blockade the road to the top.
But, they can always slap on some sunscreen and head to the beach. Unless the applied lotion contains a banned chemical.
What about playing the lottery? Forget it; they will have to wait until they get back home! And legal gambling? Better off heading to Las Vegas and skipping our state.
And if anyone in their party is under 21, they can just trash the idea of buying cigarettes.
I always wonder why the HTA asks us to fill out the forms when travelling to Hawaii. One would think that the companies that benefit from this research (hotels, rental agencies, tourist attractions, etc.) would pay for it, rather than the residents.
No, it’s easier to just have the locals pay for it.
Michael L. Last