A Silver Lining for Hawaiian Nature
Welcome to Dream Vacations, a lifestyle column on traveling to amazing destinations with practical advice and my revelations about locales from years of personal experience. As vaccines start to arrive the world over, there is a light at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s a sigh of relief for so many. However, there have been a few silver linings throughout the pandemic. One that has resonated in various tourist and urban spots has been a revitalization of nature throughout the world.
Hawaiian Beauty, Also Its Bane
For decades Hawaii has been the proverbial crown jewel of American tourism. Many of Dream Vacation Villas’ clients know this all too well as we have all enjoyed the beauty, spectre and natural elegance that Hawaii offers.
However, as tourism rose throughout the 80s and 90s, as airfare got cheaper, so did the toll on some of the most delicate ecosystems globally, including Hanauma Bay, the first Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD) in the state. Even as environmentalism and concern for our wider planet’s health have been on the rise, tourism continues to be an area that many feel can be more sustainable.
Hanauma Bay’s Revitalization
Throughout the years, the beauty of this natural undersea wonder has been slowly degraded by the constant crowds wanting to see its spectre. I have seen its beauty. However, during COVID-19 and almost a complete reduction of visitors to the area, some marine biologists have stated the bay is now 64% clearer than before the pandemic.
Marine animals have also returned to the beaches, including monk seals, and green sea turtles have become more plentiful in the bay as well. Even the elusive Ulua has been sited more frequently.
Potential for Change
While sustainability has been talked about before, scientists see this as their time to make changes to help these positive changes take root and flourish even after tourism starts to return to the area. While Hanauma Bay saw thousands of visitors daily, almost a million annually, before COVID, the conservation authorities are looking to impose stricter limits on visitors from three to six thousand per day to only one thousand per day in order to continue the revitalization of the area.
This has a dual effect on travelers and tourism. It will undoubtedly increase the cost of visits to the area and potentially ensure its future survival. Many groups in Hawaii are studying these changes, and they will be looking to institute other changes, such as limiting boats for whale watching, altering craft for spinner dolphins and others.
What does this Mean for You?
It is hard to argue that this shutdown of tourism has its costs beyond the obvious health ones. Unemployment in Hawaii has been the highest in the US, rivalling the Great Depression. There will be a real push to re-open tourism as quickly as possible to get people back to work.
It is my hope that they can strike a balance to ensure we can all continue to see the natural beauty that Hawaii offers, protecting the jobs and livelihoods of millions of Hawaiians and still offer tourists the ability to enjoy one of the most enrapturing places on earth. Please visit responsibly, obeying regulations that help save the indigenous wildlife so we all can continue to enjoy the wonders of Hawaii.
If you want to contribute to the Hawaiian economy, see its beauty at a time when it is in rebirth, and before the crowds return, early 2021 may be your best chance. We have bookings available, contact us today.
Tags: Hawaii, natural revitalization, ecotourism, sustainability, COVID-19, Hanauma Bay, tourism