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Aloha Bruce explores the topic of the push for “Malama Hawaii”, a program intended to increase visitor awareness about the preservation and respect for Native Hawaiian culture and Hawaii’s natural beauty and resources. This episode of the Hawaii Vacation Podcast offers a look at Malama Hawaii’s impact.
Bruce explains the Malama Hawaii concept and discusses whether or not it’s resonating with Hawaii visitors. He notes the environmental concerns expressed by Native Hawaiians and Hawaii residents over the impacts of over-tourism. “I think that in general, people are getting it,” Bruce says. Part of the point of Malama Hawaii is to attract more respectful visitors.
Bruce talks about how visitors can “cut down on your travel footprint”, as he puts it, and mentions the “Leave No Trace” philosophy that is meant to protect Hawaii’s environment. Bruce talks about Hawaiian notions of “aloha”, “kapu”, and “ho’ihi” and several others that can be helpful for visitors to understand.
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As far as tips to help Malama Hawaii’s impact go, Bruce mentions “leaving the beach cleaner” than when you arrived, keeping a respectful distance from wildlife (Hawaiian monk seals in particular), and supporting local small businesses during your Hawaii vacation (including Hawaii Aloha Travel and Secret Hawaii Tours).
Malama Hawaii results are tied to balancing the needs of the visitor industry with the needs of Native Hawaiians, Hawaii residents, and the environment itself. Bruce mentions limiting the number of visitors to Hawaii, tourism development in residential areas, and other ideas to make Hawaii tourism more sustainable. Improvements to transportation infrastructure would be helpful to reduce congestion, Bruce says, as would other ideas like a toll for the Road to Hana.
“Hawaii can benefit from having alternative tourism attractions,” Bruce says, and offers some suggestions for uncrowded destinations like Lanai and Molokai. He says Malama Hawaii’s impact “is making a difference”. The HAT ohana has a vested interest in sustainable tourism, as our agents are from Hawaii and want what’s best for visitors and residents. Bruce notes that the podcast has been educating Hawaii visitors for 16 years with an eye to the future.