Kailua residents in Hawaii say tourists are taking over and they are asking their tourism agency to stay away and to stop inviting the guests to visit their town, even though their economy is booming from travelers.
The area is known for its white sand beaches and laid back atmosphere. Thousands of people from all around the world travel their every year, including President Barack Obama and his family. So why would residents want the tourism to end?
The reason could be that many people who travel to Kailua want to spend their vacation visiting the same spots as the locals. Many tourists prefer to rent rooms in bed and breakfasts instead of staying in hotel or beach houses. This means the tourists become neighbors to the locals, and the locals are not too fond of this idea.
Many of the tourists bring drinking, drugs and violence into otherwise calm neighborhoods. The residents of Kailu seem to be split on their feelings about tourists. While many are unhappy about the rising amount of visitors, others say that the increase in tourism has helped bring money to the area and vacation rental owners in particular seem pleased with the travel increase.
“It’s a little too late to keep Hawaii in a box. Everybody wants to go. Not everyone wants to stay in a hotel,” said Angie Larson, who operated an unpermitted bed-and-breakfast in Kailua.
Hopefully Kailua can find the right balance of tourism that will allow tourists to explore and enjoy the area, without changing it or causing trouble for the locals.
The neighborhood board is primarily angry with bed-and-breakfast rentals that are leased for a short period of time without permits. The officials have said the rentals deplete the town’s limited supply of homes, while inflating the costs of goods, while making property more expensive, reported The Associated Press.
“It doesn’t feel like a neighborhood when you don’t know the people there,” board member Lisa Marten told AP. “If there’s any sort of safety issue, there’s no one to ask for help because you don’t know them.”
Marten’s comments reflect sentiments held by other locals who have said they do not like having streams of new neighbors coming in.