Environment

Should tourists pay a ‘green fee’ to protect Hawaiʻi’s environment?

Define a “green fee for the visitor” to protect our environment is one way Hawaii The government can help take care of the islands’ precious resources, according to a new blog released by the University of Hawaii economic research organizationUhiru).

James Mack |blog author, Uhiru The idea of ​​a visitor green fee — a fee to raise money from tourists to fund conservation and environmental management programs — was boiling in the air, said a fellow researcher and professor emeritus of economics. Hawaii For a time as the country is looking for ways to deal with its unfunded environmental responsibility. Quoted from the 2019 report (PDF) by Conservation International, Mac noted that the report suggests two ways to bridge this funding gap: 1) charging new visitors fees; or 2) charging additional fees for existing temporary accommodations (tat) and car rental taxes or reallocation of some of the money already collected for environmental purposes.

According to the Blogger, the country spends less than 1% of its annual operating budget on managing natural resources. Conservation International estimates that current annual funding is about $360 million less than required.

Green fees for other visitors around the world

14 destinations worldwide charge a green fee for a visitor, according to Conservation International. She said the Pacific island of Palau has “one of the most effective green fee programs in the world, $100 American dollar The visitor fee is included in the flight tickets.” Similarly, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador also charge $100 American dollar Entry fee to the port of arrival with revenue used directly to fund ‘Conservation, Protection and Management’. Conservation International notes that visitor data shows that the application of fees has not affected visitor arrival rates.

Support HTAplan

A visitor’s green drawing might be a solution for Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA(as a new business plan for destination management)PDF) NS Oahu Calls for the creation of “revolving tourism fees” which “directly support renewal programs HawaiiNatural Resources, Natural Resource Protection, and Addressing Unfunded Conservation Commitments.”

Environmental user fee

Conservation International does not include user environmental fees for use of publicly owned or publicly owned facilities or services. One example is the entrance fee to Hanuma Bay Nature Reserve. Environmental user fees are effective and efficient because 1) they capture the cost of environmental services and price damages for goods and services to more closely reflect the real costs borne by society; 2) at higher prices, it provides incentives for consumers and producers to become more environmentally responsible; and 3) they generate returns.

Next steps

Mac noted that Hawaii Needs to spend more money on environmental stewardship and encourage residents and visitors to take an interest in the islands’ resources, which should start with crafting a coherent user fee policy on universal access to HawaiiNatural Resources.

Uhiru located in oh Manoa College of Social Sciences. Read the entire blog post at UhiruWeb site for .

This work is an example of oh Mānoa’s goal of building a sustainable and resilient campus environment: within the global sustainability movement and climate resilience (PDFExcellence in Research: Advancement of Research Projects and Creative WorkPDF), two of the four targets identified in the 2015-25 Strategic PlanPDF), updated December 2020.

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