Tourists and Vendors Reject Idea of Tourist Fees - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Tourists and Vendors Reject Idea of Tourist Fees

Jon Farmer Jon Farmer
Paul Jones Paul Jones
Star Beach Boys location at Waikiki Star Beach Boys location at Waikiki

by Darren Pai

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - Warm beaches, fun under the sun, the reasons tourists come to Hawaii are well documented.

"I'm from Portland, especially in the rainy winter time it's a pleasure," said Jon Farmer, a visitor from Oregon.

But one thing could thin the crowds on the beaches: the rising cost of a vacation.

"Room charges have gone up, air fares have gone up with fuel," Farmer said. "I think leave the tourists alone for awhile, we're paying enough as it is."

Some visitors hope Hawaii doesn't follow the lead of Alaska, which last week approved a measure charging each tourist a $50 fee.

"I don't think it would be well received at all," Farmer said. "I think basically the tourists are getting slammed as it is."

Visitors already pay hotel room taxes. Some tourists and local businesses say any more taxes would be like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Beach rental stands prosper when Waikiki is full. Operators say charging tourists more for the opportunity to visit hawaii can only hurt business.

"We got to give the aloha to the people," said Paul Jones of Star Beach Boys, a rental stand operator. "They go back and spread the aloha and have people come to Hawaii."

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