Hawaii has awarded a new tourism marketing contract for a campaign that lays out what kind of travel they want to attract. In particular, as they’re desperate to drive a resurgence in Maui visits, they want Europeans to:
- Be more respectful
- Spend more
Strategic efforts will educate European visitors about traveling mindfully and respectfully while supporting Hawaii’s communities and economy. Focus will also be placed on driving visitor spending…
There will be an “emphasis on lifetime trip expenditures and increasing per person, per day expenditures.”
Europeans represented 14% of tourism spend in Hawaii pre-pandemic. Pitching to them that they should return, they’re telling Europeans to learn to be respectful prior to coming. The marketing buzzword is ‘mindful’ but they never say what it – or respectful – means. That’s intentional. It’s a government-sponsored campaign, so they’re navigating two goals.
- Many locals who hate tourists
- An economy that’s dependent on tourists
There has been talk of restricting tourists from the best beaches on weekends and plenty of scapegoating Airbnb for problems that are the result of local policy. It’s always easy to blame outsiders.
Hawaii’s Governor has said he wants less low-dollar tourism. Basically they want fewer people who spend more, and if they must have more people they want more people who spend more. This accomplishes two things.
- It may mean greater prosperity for Hawaiians in tourism industries, so maybe they’ll be less bitter about outsiders visiting.
- But if they aren’t, at least those visits will be more lucrative for large business owners dependent on tourism and who support politicians.
In other words, if there’s going to be political heat over tourism, the juice is more worth the squeeze for politicians feeling the heat.