Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hawaii - It's the Economy, Stupid!

Not the only tourist attraction in Hawaii!

I've clearly retracted way too much.

As a consequence, I've deleted some important facts about the situation in Hawaii, the first one being this.

Kudos to Patric!
Contrary to yours truly and all the others who bitched and moaned but essentially did nothing, he took it onto himself to buy a plane ticket and personally go and try to mediate in a situation where the positions appeared to be completely irreconcilable.

Instead, he has managed to organize a meeting between the two Shark viewing operations and the rep. Gene Ward.
An understanding has been reached whereby the operators will desist from any chumming, baiting and feeding whereby Ward will refrain from any more attempts at shutting them down but limit his efforts to ensuring that the Shark feeding ban is being enforced.

Patric went to Hawaii because he's a good man - full stop.
Those who already whisper that he may just be pursuing some sinister self promoting agenda really ought to wash their mouths with carbolic soap and examine their own contribution in this matter!

But I'm digressing as usual.
Hopefully, everybody concerned will now stick to the script.
If so, the issue of enforcing the Law and curbing any Shark feeding is resolved and the impending legislative process just the final rubber stamping of facts that have already been created on the ground.
Yes, by all means, including installing surveillance video on the Shark tour boats!

What then remains is one thing, and one thing only: saving jobs and millions in tourism income.


The number of visitors arriving in Hawaii by air in October with the percentage change from the same month last year:

Domestic 190,215 -15.9%
International 122,923 -8.9%
Total 493,506 -13.5%
Overall total * 511,518 -13.5%

By Island
Oahu 313,138 -13.3%
Kauai 75,119 -25.9%
Lanai 6,404 -29.7%
Maui 147,977 -20.5%
Molokai 4,672 -35.9%
Big Island 96,366 -19.7%

* Includes passengers arriving by ship
Source: Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism

This is the backdrop against which the Shark Task Force is rallying a lynch mob in the attempt to close down two thriving tourism businesses and preventing 40,000 annual tourists from enjoying looking at Sharks - on snorkel, 3 miles offshore and from the perfect safety of a cage.

How much would each of those persons contribute to Hawaii's ailing economy - in airfares, accommodation, meals, shopping, tours, shows?
Two thousand dollars? Three thousand? More?
You do the math.

Yes that's somewhere between 40 and 80 million bucks in Tourism revenues!

I'm sure Gene Ward understands the implications.


Robert said...

Awesome reporting Mike.
I've never met Patric but I am glad he went to Hawaii.
I just read his blog also.
The lack of chum is unfortunate but saving the tourism is the reward.

Horizon Charters Guadalupe Cage Diving said...

Thanks Mike,

I am "one guy" acting as a helper and that is all. This is something anyone can do at anytime.

When anti-shark diving movements happen sometimes an outside perspective can help.

The REAL kudo here goes to both Stephani and Joe who put differences aside and worked together to effect change. The two of them showed outstanding industry leadership. Full Stop.

They have supporters and a new media plan. They will survive will the help of the industry.