HONOLULU — As Dallas-based Southwest Airlines ramps up its service to Hawaii with 28 daily flights by the end of May, the state is facing a problem in managing the growing number of visitors to the island who spend less money here every year.
“We’re not at a crisis point yet. We’re at a tipping point. We have so many visitors, we need to get serious about creating management programs,” said Frank Haas, a travel industry veteran who is the former marketing director at the Hawaii Tourism Authority and formerly served as an Assistant Dean at the University of Hawaii.
Haas joined James Mak, a professor emeritus at the University of Hawaii and Paul Brewbaker, a longtime economist who worked for the Bank of Hawaii, to write a nine-page white paper last month which details how Hawaii has failed to manage tourism.
“Yeah, I would even say we struck a nerve so to speak. We wrote about what a lot of (local) people are already thinking,” Brewbaker said.
The initial flights will be between Oakland and Honolulu, with additional flights from Oakland and flights from San Jose added in April and May. Tickets are available on Southwest’s website for the new routes.
Hurricane Lane barreled toward Hawaii on Friday, dumping torrential rains that inundated the Big Island’s main city. Residents elsewhere stocked up on supplies and piled sandbags to shield oceanfront businesses against the increasingly violent surf.
The storm had maximum sustained winds of 105 mph and was moving at a pace of just 5 mph, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said in its 5 p.m. ET advisory (11 a.m. local time)….Keep Reading On CBS News
Nearly 20 inches of rain fell on parts of Hawaii’s Big Island as a powerful hurricane approached the state on Thursday, with flooding and landslides blocking roads and carrying the potential for life-threatening effects, but forecasters said it has weakened to a Category 3 storm…..Keep Reading On NBC News
A basketball-sized lava bomb slammed through the roof of a tour boat near an active fissure of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano early Monday morning, showering the vessel with debris and injuring 23 people, according the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency.
Officials described the incident on Facebook writing that an explosion off the coast of Kapoho hurled several lava bombs onto the boat — called Hotspot — at about 6 a.m. local time…..