Resident Sentiment Toward Tourism Recovering After Prolonged Downturn
Results of Fall 2022 Resident Sentiment Survey Released
HTA News Release (23-03) February 8, 2023
HONOLULU – Hawai‘i residents statewide feel that more effort is being made to balance the economic benefits of tourism and quality of life for residents, according to the State of Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism’s (DBEDT) Fall 2022 Resident Sentiment Survey.
The survey results showed that the concept of tourism management is resonating as 44 percent of residents agreed that tourism is being better managed on their island and 67 percent said that tax dollars should be spent to manage tourism’s impacts in their community. The survey also showed that residents who were aware of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s (HTA) Destination Management Action Plans and the organization’s efforts to better manage tourism had a more favorable view.
“The tide is turning in the right direction due largely to our collective destination management efforts in partnership with community stakeholders, government agencies, and industry partners,” said John De Fries, HTA’s president and CEO. “We continue to reinvest funding directly into the community to effect meaningful change and mitigate tourism’s impacts in hotspot areas throughout the state.”
Resident attitudes toward tourism are now being shaped by the balance between economic benefits and quality of life, along with tourism management efforts that improve this balance. The top three drivers of resident sentiment in the fall were job opportunities, support of local businesses, and the creation of shopping, dining and entertainment options for residents.
Sixty-seven percent of residents stated they had a favorable opinion of tourism as an industry in Hawai‘i. More residents in this wave compared to the prior wave said tourism has brought more benefits than problems (57%), nearing the 2019 mark (58%). Of those who disagreed that tourism has brought more benefits than problems, the opportunities for improvement include addressing issues such as overcrowding, environmental damage, and no respect for culture/tradition/‘āina.
Fifty-five percent of residents said tourism has had a mostly positive impact on the state, while 37 percent felt that tourism has been mostly positive for them and their family. Sixty-seven percent agreed with the statement that their island is being run for tourists at the expense of local people.
Resident satisfaction is one of the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of HTA’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. The other three KPIs are average daily visitor spending, visitor satisfaction, and total visitor spending.
Resident sentiment has been measured since 1988. The Fall 2022 Resident Sentiment Survey was conducted by Omnitrak Group, Inc., which was selected by DBEDT as the provider for this study. The survey was fielded from October 19 through December 3, 2022. Residents in all four counties participated in the survey by phone and online.
The results of the Fall 2022 survey are compared to the Spring 2022 Resident Sentiment Survey, which was conducted from May 7 through July 30, 2022.
The Fall 2022 Resident Sentiment Survey Report is available on HTA’s website: "evaluation-performance-measures"
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