INDEX - DEVELOPMENTwww.islandbreath.org ID# 0602-18
SUBJECT: KAUAI TOURIST DEVELOPMENT
SOURCE: JUAN WILSON firstname.lastname@example.org
by Fred Dente on 30 August 2006 as letter in The Garden Island News
I tried to paticipate in your survey, but the Web site is not accessible. Do you you really care what we think, or is this just another promo scam to bring more tourists here? Since I don’t know what your survey questions are, I’ll just give you my general feelings about the tourism industry.
Many decades ago, the criminals who stole, occupied and illegally annexed Hawai‘i and their military co-conspiritors decided that tourism would be a great way to bring all the resort amenities here for them and their families, as well as to bring rich people here so they could invest in the gravy train and continue to plunder what was left of the Hawaiian Nation. Of course, since the docile natives weren’t going to put up a fight, they could be used and controlled as slaves and underpaid workers to serve the rich, white, privileged class of haole exploiters, and the hordes who would eventually arrive. And all the other poor people who came here from Portugal, The Philipines, Spain and Asia to give up their bodies in the cane fields would certainly be another source of cheap labor to exploit.
Obviously, the tourism plan worked beautifully for the wealthy, the military, the Mainland corporations who own the resorts and the service industries, the rich tourists who “discovered” Hawai‘i and came back to buy dirt-cheap beachfront property, etc., etc...
But what has happened to the true Hawaiians, the Nation, the Culture, the ‘Aina, the indigenous species, the Reefs and the Ocean? They are bulldozed, grubbed and graded, paved, polluted, overrun, GMO’d, militarized, Bushed, Lingle’d, Inouye’d, Akaka’d, Case’d, Wal-Marted, undereducated, citified, dumbed-down, iced-up, junk-fed, lied to by self-righteous, inept, overpaid, pompous and greedy politicians, opportunists and other bottom-feeders. They are Americanized!
Tourism run rampant puts 20,000 people a day on our narrow country roads, with many more to come. And people wonder what we can do about gridlock? We already have enough trouble with Kaua‘i’s citizens owning more vehicles than there are people. More roads will bring more congestion, more buildings, more people! How much of the 1.12 billion dollars of the tourism take actually stays here on Kaua‘i? What is going to happen to our “quality of life” when the rest of the giant cruiseships and the Superferries, and the 15 more resorts are built, in addition the ones being built now? Costco is building what appears to be a Boeing 747 hangar in anticipation of the promise of the future of Kaua‘i! What future is that? And what of our near totally helpless county government and lack of visioning and good planning?
Quaint tourism on a small scale is wonderful and charming. Don’t we all love to discover a vacation hideaway somewhere where we can truly relax in natural and peaceful surroundings? But what is happening in Hawai‘i, and specifically on Kaua‘i, is hideously and diabolically destructive to everything we love about the place. It is Prostitution on a grand, mega-scale, where we actually educate our youth to be servants to the machine, we offer up our children and ourselves to be the whores for the pimps and the promoters of the degradation of everything we love about this rapidly disappearing Island Paradise. Soon we will be gridlocked at the toll gate to our precious Koke‘e! Don’t we have higher ideals and dreams than all this?
My solution! An instantaneous and permanent moritorium on tourism and business as usual. If the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau, the OED and the rest of the tourism industry actually care about “Responsible Tourism,” they should sponsor extensive neighborhood meetings all around the island to let the people decide if our future is to continue to be choked with force-fed institutional tourism, or if we could STOP and take the time to research and consider more progressive ways to prosper economically. Since this decision was made for us decades ago by a few greedy people with tunnel vision, the time is way past due to stop the blind, mad dash to the feeding trough, and for The People to take the control of our destiny away from corporate/governmental, military/industrial America. Wouldn’t it be great if this question would be on our ballots in November, instead of on a last-minute, non-funtioning Web site promo survey conducted by a fox in the henhouse?
SUBJECT: KAUAI TOURIST DEVELOPMENT
SOURCE: JUAN WILSON email@example.com
by Tracey Schavone on 16 August 2006
If you're happy with the number of tourists, hotels, time shares, rental cars, helicopters, etc. that we have on the island and are not concerned about those numbers increasing, there's no need to respond to this letter and it will all just keep on growing and growing.
If, on the other hand, you feel that Kaua`i has reached or surpassed its carrying capacity, you'll want to tell the powers that be that enough is enough. Now is your chance to express what it's like to live on an island that's losing its quiet, rural character and how it feels to watch the last of our remaining beaches encroached upon with tourist accommodations.
So, what can you do? Take a look at the Kauai Tourism Strategic Plan by clicking onto http://kauai.smshawaii.biz/ or open the attachment at the end of this letter. Then please write a short note, in your own words. You'll have to act right now as comments are accepted only through August 16th.
Please click on here to write and email your letter: http://kauai.smshawaii.biz/Contact.html
The Kaua'i County Tourism Strategic Plan acknowledges that there are more than 6,000 new tourist units on the books and there may be a 40-50% increase in the number of tourists over the next 10 years(!!) Then the Plan goes on to describe all the ways we can accommodate this projected increase. What it does not do is to propose that we could limit the number of tourists. That's where you come in.
They need you to tell them that the only way that we can truly accommodate visitors to our island so they can have a quality visit and so that we, as residents, can have a quality life is to put a limit on tourist development. Visitors are the first to complain that Kauai is being overbuilt and lament that we're starting to look like Maui. They know the only way to improve their visitor experience is for there to be a halt to tourism growth.
Among other things the Strategic Plan is looking at ways to increase room occupancy during slower periods. [Keeping rooms filled to capacity year round would mean the loss of "down time" when we have those quiet periods of respite between high seasons.]
The Plan suggests a media campaign to sell tourist industry to residents, legislators and funds [Sell, sell, sell our island until it completely loses its rural character.]
The Plan promote parks, beaches and other natural resource areas to tourists
[...until the beaches are totally packed.]
So if you think our island is being loved to death, please write right now. Please do what you can to try to preserve what's left of Kauai's fragile and precious natural resources and our way of life.
"Negative growth" is “Good Growth”
by Juan Wilson on 15 August 2006
The charge of the Kauai Tourism Strategic Planning Advisory Committee has been to promote “responsible” tourism. If the focus of the committee is balancing resident concerns with tourism then “positive growth” in this industry is not part of a responsible solution.
There seems to be a misconception about what the idea of “sustainable” means when attached to the word “growth”. As things stand today, there is no level of population or economic growth that is sustainable for even a few generations: Not in the world, not on this island. Continued growth in a finite space is unsustainable by definition.
The economic future for Kauai is bleak if it is dependent on tourism. Of the five major carriers; American, United, Continental, Delta, and Northwest; it has been demonstrated that profitability is virtually an impossible goal - all have faced recent bankrupcy.
A tourist will likely choose to drive to the barrier islands of North Carolina, or take a short flight Puerto Rico before the gas guzzling expedition to Hawaii when gas hits $100 a barrel.
A “responsible” plan for tourism would be to find a way to downsize our dependancy on tourism in such a way as to minimize the dislocations that are foreseeable.
Like Cuba, Kauai is a semitropical island that in the past was dependent on the export of sugarcane products for its sustenance. In 1989 Cuba was left in the lurch when the Soviet Union collapsed and no more ships full of food, tractors, fuel, fertilizer and insecticide reached the island.
Cuba went through a few rough years, but quickly implemented a plan of alternative transportation, modification of services and universal organic farming that allowed the island to become self sustaining within a decade.
The current model of tourism on Kauai is not what it was in the past. In the old days tourists were “handled”. They stayed at destination resort facilities, and used buses to visit specific tourist sites. They were not so much underfoot.
Today the first thing a tourist does is rent a car and get on the highway for a hundred miles a day of travel. They sleep in rental homes that used to be local resident housing. They clog our limited public facilities (like Kee Beach) and then complain about the congestion and litter.
Tourism dollars are still important, but to be planning a future on the growth of the current industry is economic suicide. Let’s plan for a transformation of tourism in such a way that won’t require growth of the industry or added infrastructure. The alternative is ruin.
1) Let’s eliminate all B&Bs and visitor rental outside VDA’s (visitor destination areas). Yes some people who have been renting outside the rules will be inconvenienced, but let’s get them legal or into another business.
2) Let’s limit the number of rental cars allowed on the island to a workable number (maybe 6,000 cars). New York City found out long ago that Manhattan Island works better with a fixed number of taxis. It’s been the law there for generations.
3) Let’s enrich the tourist experience of the VDA’s and discourage the promotion of “1001 Things To Do On Kauai”.
4) Let’s admit that providing a comforting and familiar environment for the tourist and their dollar is not in the long term interest of Kauai residents.
5) Let’s concentrate on planting forests and orchards where we once grew cane and focus our efforts to locate residents inside our existing towns. We will still be able to show visitors a good time; particularly if we don't have our hand out.
Juan Wilson: Architect-Planner
Hanapepe Valley, Kauai