Beach business slows down due to declining tourism

Georgene Fox
Georgene Fox

By Stephen Florino - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - Waikiki hotels aren't the only ones effected by the tourism slowdown. Beach businesses say this summer is the slowest in years, saying it's ten times slower than last summer.

Waikiki beach is just starting to fill up with tourists again, coming from everywhere.

"Just, spending a little time away," said one vacationing family.

Visitor Georgene Fox said, "Me and my grandma has just been to Australia and we thought we fly home going through Hawaii cause we heard how pretty it was."

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Tourists enjoy the sight of surf and sun. Beach boys enjoy the sight of people on the beach, and the last few months haven't been pretty.

"I never seen a summer like this. I can only compare it to after 9-11. It is really, really slow. Us people working down on the beach are having a hard time making payments, house payments, bills in general. It's just hard to make ends meet right now," said Roger Brown with Hawaiian Ocean Sports.

The cause, rising fuel prices and a troubled economy. That has discourage many from coming here, and even alter the plans of those already here.

Darshell Mangiameli a frequent visitor to Hawaii said, "Been here a ton of times, but yeah, the airfares gone up a lot from what it used to be, especially going interisland, so we're actually doing one island, cause jumping around is getting too pricey in just getting here."

Beach boys hope they can ride this current wave until the next big set comes in.

"Historically, election time, general election, the economy has an upswing after the new president's been elected. so let's keep our fingers crossed in that we get something good from that. that's all i can hope for."

The beach boys expect the slowdown to continue through winter, but of course, hope for the best.