Like any other troubled marriage, Hawaii’s marriage to [US] mainland visitors needs remaking. And pronto, because even the current trial separation by vacationing mainlanders is getting uglier.
Applying bandages to Hawaii’s expensive vacation industry does not work as recovery won’t occur any time soon. In the meantime, the Maui lodging, restaurant, activities and convention premium pricing that worked during the boom is now making 2009 significantly worse. President Obama’s big fix, state legislation or our mayor will not cure the mainlanders’ rocky affair with Maui’s continuing premium pricing during the recession.
The task of Hawaii’s vacation businesses and industry associations is to take leadership for figuring out how to pull Maui out of the immediate economic crisis. Returning to business as it was during the boom and 2008 is not an option. Hawaii’s business leaders and associations will create Hawaii’s economic future by identifying and executing answers to the question: “Where will new real sources of growth come from?”
And the real sources for growth in Hawaii’s vacation industry without the benefits of premium pricing and a mainland recovery are businesses, associations, community and vacation industry leaders who step forward with creative entrepreneurship and a “we’ll keep at it until it’s done, whatever it takes” spirit.