Hawai‘i has the Dubious Distinction of having more visitor drowning deaths than any other place in the country. According to the State Department of Health, Hawai‘i’s visitor drowning rate is 13 times the national average, and 10 times the rate for residents.
Is Hawai‘i a dangerous destination? Some national media outlets think so. The Huffington Post declared “too many tourists are dying in Hawai‘i,” and a Bay Area NBC station included Hawai‘i when it promised “Dangerous Destinations Revealed.
Short-term vacation rental companies like Airbnb are changing the tourism industry – and quite possibly your neighborhood. Opponents of this phenomenon say illegal or “underground” vacation rentals drive up housing prices and change the character of neighborhoods. Airbnb proponents say it has stabilized Hawai‘i’s housing market.
More visitors are arriving in Hawai‘i, but according to recent numbers from Hospitality Advisors, hotel occupancy has not seen a corresponding rise. The growing Hawai‘i timeshare market, along with legal and illegal bed and breakfasts give visitors more options.
Kaho‘olawe, an island that many Hawaiians hold as sacred, has been a cultural and political touchstone since the 1970s. When the U.S. military handed over control of Kaho‘olawe to the state of Hawai‘i, unexploded bombs and erosion left a barren landscape that many to this day are working to replant and restore.