HONOLULU (KHON2) — A majority of Hawaii residents think tourism is worth the issues, but when it comes to identifying problems that the industry has created for the islands, overcrowding was at the top of the list, followed by damage to the environment and a higher cost of living.

Nearly 2,000 residents from each county participated in the Spring 2022 Resident Sentiment Survey. The new data shows support for regenerative tourism efforts and destination management.

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The Spring 2022 Resident Sentiment Survey was fielded from May 7 through July 30, 2022.

DO YOU THINK TOURISM IS WORTH THE ISSUES?

  • OAHU: 77% yes
    • Honolulu: 81%
    • Ewa/Leeward: 80%
    • Waianae: 56%
    • Windward: 69%
    • North Shore: 64%
    • Central: 80%
  • BIG ISLAND: 77% yes
    • West Hawaii: 75%
    • East Hawaii: 80%
  • MAUI COUNTY: 60% yes
    • West Maui: 58%
    • Central/East Maui: 59%
    • Molokai: 64%
    • Lanai: 91%
  • KAUAI: 66% yes
    • NE Kauai: 64%
    • SW Kauai: 69%

Of those surveyed: 82% were ages 65 and older, 75% were ages 55 to 64, 74% were ages 35 to 54 and 68% were ages 18 to 34.

DO YOU THINK TOURISM HAS BROUGHT MORE BENEFITS THAN PROBLEMS?

  • OAHU: 55% strongly/somewhat agree
    • Honolulu: 60%
    • Ewa/Leeward: 55%
    • Waianae: 36%
    • Windward: 44%
    • North Shore: 44%
    • Central: 64%
  • BIG ISLAND: 56% strongly/somewhat agree
    • West Hawaii: 54%
    • East Hawaii: 57%
  • MAUI COUNTY: 43% strongly/somewhat agree
    • West Maui: 40%
    • Central/East Maui: 42%
    • Molokai: 43%
    • Lanai: 78%
  • KAUAI: 48% strongly/somewhat agree
    • NE Kauai: 43%
    • SW Kauai: 55%

WHAT PROBLEMS HAS TOURISM CREATED IN HAWAII?

  • 69% said overcrowding
  • 67% said damage to the environment
  • 62% said high prices and higher cost of living
  • 62% said traffic problems
  • 55% said no respect for culture, tradition and the land
  • 54% said too dependent on tourism, should diversify
  • 47% said health concerns, viruses, and potential for epidemics
  • 34% said locals don’t benefit from tourism money
  • 30% said crime
  • 2% said loss of cultural and community sensitivity
  • 2% said tourism/tourists are given priority
  • 1% said creates low paying jobs, no advancement
  • 1% said tourist safety an issue
  • 1% said influx of newcomers including foreign investors
  • 1% said other
  • 1% refused

To read the full report, click here.

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Statewide sampling produced a total of 1,955 respondents as follows: 839 Oahu residents, 458 from Big Island, 403 from Maui County and 255 from Kauai.