When we lived in Hawaii, a lot of the tourists came from the US mainland, Canada or Asia. For many years, Japan so dominated the tourism of Hawaii that their buying of the real estate in Hawaii so changed the economy that there was a building boom and bust back in the 80’s way before the one we’re going through now. The prices were still high in the mid 2000’s.
Property became so expensive that no one could buy property in the islands unless they were able to pay exorbitant prices. But the bottom fell out of the Japanese economy as well as that of their Asian neighbors and the missing Japanese tourists didn’t help Hawaii’s economy.
But things have been turning around with the islands’ relationship with South Korea since some regulatory changes have been made concerning tourists coming into the US from Asia. Requirements had been tightened since 911 until 2008 when the US State Department allowed South Korea to be added to the list of countries which have the privilege of entering our country without needing a visa. Korean Air also added flights going
to Hawaii to facilitate their renewed relationship with the islands.
During the peak period of South Korea’s exchange with Hawaii, back in the 90’s, South Korean tourism was around 120,000 visitors. In the current exchange, tourists are expected to number around 70,000 for this year. This is very good news for the islands.
Hawaii is doing a number of things to facilitate this transition, such as setting up Korean language websites and literature for the major resorts, shopping centers, business’ and cultural venues, facilitating cultural and language sensitivity training and forming relationships and partnerships with like-minded Korean businesses.
Another direction that Hawaii is going in with their tourism, which is a minor though growing part of their demographics at this point is among the age group from 18 to 30 where the price/value ratio is a big determining factor in where the tourism dollars are spent. This is especially so since the recession of the past
few years, has been driving down prices in the hospitality industry.
Many of the travelers in this age group tend to be either young professionals looking for a bargain or students who are traveling on a limited budget. To accommodate the students, there are several hostels located throughout the islands with prices starting at $10 a night, though most range up to $30 per night with some over that.
Each location offers a range of amenities such as free shuttle service, kitchen facilities, free tours, wifi, internet, breakfast, laundry facilities, linen, free movies, airport pickup, along with rooms from the dorm to the private room with other features that are listed on each site.
There are also several hotels throughout the islands that range in prices from the upper $60’s to around $100 per night and also quite a few that are under $200 depending upon the time of year that you decide to go and their location. Several of these hotels are right on the beach, downtown and in the middle of the action.