Tourists paying more to visit city, state parks

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — As more tourists return, those wishing to visit Hanauma Bay will soon have to pay more. The new entrance fee will start July 1 for non-local visitors 13 years and older.

It’s going from $12 to $25. But local residents, kids 12 and younger, and active duty military can still get in for free.

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The city tells us money will go directly to maintenance, education, and research of the nature preserve.

“The number 25 came from also off setting some of that loss,” said Nathan Serota of the Department of Parks and Recreation. “We were closed for about 8 1/2 months from March to December of last year and that was a time when we were receiving no revenue from entrance fees, from city concessions.”

We found mixed reaction to the price hike.

“I think that’s a pretty prohibitive price to go visit a beach,” said Maggie Holland of Seattle. “I’ve been to lots of other island beaches and the most expensive entrance fee I can think of is $12. But $25 I think that would make me choose a different beach.”

“As long as they increase the fee for preserving the reservation, I think that would be a really good thing,” said Ryan Gamboa, who is moving to Hawaii from Seattle. “If people are eager and interested in going they’d still spend the $25.”

Officials say a $5 entrance fee and $10 parking fee are now required for non-residents at several state parks across the islands including: Haena State Park on Kauai, Waianapanapa State Park and Iao Valley State Monument on Maui, and Diamond Head State Monument on Oahu.

Governor Ige says he also likes the idea of having visitors make reservations.

“If we can create a reservation system and a visitor knows that if they make a reservation, they’re less likely to just show up and see that line of parking cars out through the parking lot,” Gov. Ige said.

Residents do not have to pay these fees at any Hawaii State Parks.

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