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On this Friday, November 11, 2022, episode of the Hawaii Vacation Connection Podcast, Aloha Bruce is talking about crime in Hawaii and the fact that Hawaii is one of the safest travel destinations in the world.
First up is some Hawaii news, including the victory of Josh Green in Hawaii’s 2022 gubernatorial election. Bruce notes Green’s success in handling the Safe Travels program during the pandemic, but Bruce takes issue with his proposal to impose a $50 per-person fee on Hawaii visitors. Bruce notes that the legislature and most of the tourism industry do not support the measure. “This could be the kind of thing that tips people over the edge,” Bruce says about people deciding not to vacation in Hawaii. He notes numerous resort and other fees visitors already face. “Is that a deal breaker for you?”
Next up is the potential sale of the historic Coco Palms Hotel on Kauai, the famous location of iconic films like South Pacific and Elvis Pressley’s Blue Hawaii. Bruce notes the importance of the site to native Hawaiians since long before the hotel in the 1950s. He notes a community group’s efforts to fundraise to secure the property. “We’ll see how that goes.”
On to the main topic of crime in Hawaii, Bruce talks about how news gets sensationalized in local and national news. He notes, “We do have crime here, just like everywhere else.” Bruce offers some Department of Justice and FBI statistics that indicate that Hawaii’s crime rate is significantly lower than the rest of the US. “Hawaii visitors are just a fraction of violent crime victims in Hawaii. It’s extremely rare, and that’s why you see it make it headlines.”
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Bruce also offers some specific data on property crime in Hawaii and explains some of the nuance in statistics about crime in Hawaii. He mentions a Travel Pulse ranking that lists Honolulu as the only US city on a short list of the world’s safest travel destinations. Bruce also points out that Hawaii’s visitor arrivals have returned to pre-pandemic levels.
“If it bleeds it leads,” Bruce says of sensationalist headlines in Hawaii. Bruce urges visitors to not believe the hype of those kinds of headlines, like the preposterous fear-mongering local news stories of the danger of fentanyl-laced candy being passed to children on Halloween. It was nonsense. “It’s safe to visit Hawaii! Worry more about ocean safety!”