Government Shutdown and Hawaii’s Tourism Industry

Needless to say, the federal government shutdown has been a hot topic across the nation. In Hawaii, thousands of federal workers have been furloughed; even Hawaii’s tourism industry has felt the blow.

How? More than 400 national parks have been closed, including two big attraction on the Hawaii Island and on Maui. Thousands of visitors have already been turned away from the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Puuhonua o Honaunau (both on the Hawaii Island) and Haleakala National Park (on Maui).

That not only means a loss of revenue for the parks but a huge loss of valuable experience for tourists. I can only imagine how devastated they must be. Most travel hundreds of miles to get to Hawaii, with visits to Pearl Harbor or Haleakala, for instance, at the top of their lists.

Not to mention, it’s like a domino effect for other tour companies in the business. I saw on a “Hawaii News Now” report that one local company had to turn away about 70-percent of their customers.

Here is a list of national parks in Hawaii that have been closed (as of Oct. 2, 2013):

  • Haleakala National Park, Maui
  • Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center, Maui
  • Ala Kahakai National Historic Trails, Hawaii Island
  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii Island
  • Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, Hawaii Island
  • Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site, Hawaii Island
  • Kalaupapa National Historic Park, Molokai
  • USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, Oahu
  • USS Arizona Memorial, Oahu
  • Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center, Maui
  • Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, Kauai

The Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor and Battleship Missouri Memorial on Oahu will remain open.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher