Each year, visitors from around the world return home from their Hawaii vacation with Aloha shirts, pineapples and a lifetime of memories. Sadly, other things that are taken from the islands are the dignity and cultural history of the natives, features that are constantly being eroded with every hotel and tourist attraction that is constructed.
“I have seen the oppression and exploitation of an out of control global industry that has no understanding of limits or concerns for the host people of a land”. Reverend Kaleo Patterson, Hawaii Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism.
In order to cater to the ever-increasing visitor population – some 8.9 million in 2016 – the Hawaiian people have been forced to endure such indignities as ancient burial sites being relocated to make way for new resort developments not to mention the added environmental pollution and damage to the coral reef. As more tourist’s flood to Hawaii, many locals find themselves being literally pushed from their homeland as property prices sky-rocket in conjunction with the visitor’s wallets.
The traditional Hawaiian greeting, Aloha, translates to love, compassion and mercy and is a message that needs to be implemented within the islands tourism industry. In order to preserve the beauty and the aina that is Hawaii, it is essential that sustainable tourism is implemented throughout the islands by not only respecting the culture and traditions of the indigenous people but by making a positive impact on the environment and the economy by promoting respect and understanding between tourist and locals.
Please visit responsibly by showing respect to the land and its people. Aloha