The impact of COVID-19 in the State of Hawai’i has been devastating. After 6 months the unemployment benefit of over 200,000 residents supporting the tourism industry are now unemployed and most of them have stopped receiving their unemployment checks since the government only pays unemployment for 6 months.
Air travel to Hawai’i has virtually been shut down since March 2020. It will be years to rebuild the travel industry here even if a COVID-19 vaccine is available. Hawaii’s dependence on tourism to sustain their economy is now being re-evaluated. Perhaps there are some solutions that can benefit the tourists, the government, and the local people.
Yes Education has developed a proposal built on innovative methodologies for providing visitors with memorable vacations to Hawai’i. We would need $100k in donations to develop this program to allow Hawai'i visitors the opportunity to experience multiple exclusive destinations and immersive adventures at less than the cost of what a visitor would have to pay for an average $350 hotel room without building more hotels or resorting to Airbnb housing.
Hawai'i is world renowned as one of the most beautiful and scenic places on earth. At the moment, however, it is expensive and time consuming to fly to and visit Hawai’i compared to other beach destinations such as the Caribbean and Mexico due to the limited availability and high cost of hotels, resort fee expenses, attractions, activities, food, ground transportation, tipping, parking, etc.
Visitors are attracted to Hawai’i to build and strengthen their family relationships, to improve their health and wellbeing, to rest and relax, to have an adventure or escape, to gain knowledge, to mark a special occasion and/or to reminisce about previous visits. However, due to the overdevelopment of skyscraper hotels and the unappealing concrete landscape of Waikiki, Hawai’i as a destination may be losing its appeal to new and repeat visitors that recently seem to prefer to explore the true Hawai’i, it’s vibrant people, arts, culture through interactive and genuine experiences. Walking around Waikiki, dodging traffic and street hawkers handing out flyers does not represent the genuine experience most travellers anticipated when they first planned their vacation.
Some developers and destination marketers wish they could level Waikiki and start over again, but that option is too expensive and impractical. Expanding outside of Waikiki for more development is extremely difficult due to the scarcity of resort-zoned property. The community is beginning to resent the expansion of tourism in places such as Kailua where some tour buses drop off visitors in front of resident’s homes. Prime farmland is being turned into residential property leaving visitors even fewer vistas of Hawai'i’s natural beauty and requiring even more food and supplies to be shipped in from outside Hawai’i.
The history of tourism in Hawai’i never seems to have offered a fair exchange between visitors and residents. Even though some money spent by visitors trickles down to residents through taxes and some jobs, the residents do not benefit from their visit as much as they should. The amount of land and resources needed to attract and maintain tourism has had a negative impact on traffic, the cost of food and other services. The growing amount of waste from shipping food and supplies to Hawai’i for almost 10 million visitors has reached unsustainable levels. Communities are being named as future landfills to accommodate this extra waste.
Ho’oulu Hawai’i offers ways to counteract these negative trends. Instead of staying in a standard hotel room in Waikiki, a visitor would stay in a Wahi Ho’omana Kuai, a place where mutually empowering transformational exchanges between visitors and residents are made. Please refer to the academic paper for details of the importance of transformation: “Designing Tourism Experiences for Inner Transformation” by Dr. Pauline Sheldon (Professor Emerita School of Travel Industry Management). These exclusive places may include a farm that needs volunteers to grow fresh, organic food for local farmer markets or simply a remote location or campsite. The visitor would be required to volunteer to share important life-skills with young local people in order to support them to pursue a fulfilling career. For example, the visitors could offer young people mock interviews, hands-on demonstrations, lectures, art, music, etc. In exchange, the young locals will share their knowledge of their Hawaiian language, culture, history, food, art, music, herbal medicine, etc. Traditional protocols such as greetings and farewells will be used during each visit. This unique cultural exchange could provide an innovative standard for all tourism models to follow. Perhaps governments should consider levying an additional airport tax to flights to Hawai’i for accommodations, attractions and activities that don’t provide a means for visitors to give back to the local communities and promote sustainability.
Instead of purchasing meaningless imported cultural trinkets as mementos of their trip (kitsch, such as dashboard hula dancers), and buying fast food at national chains, visitors will have a rich opportunity to appreciate the Hawai’ian culture, not only from one area, but at a new location every day during their visit. Ho’oulu Hawai’i plans to offer up to 50 different overnight locations all over Oahu. Each location has its own unique history and special meanings, special people, special needs, all waiting for adventure travellers willing to help make a difference in people’s lives and to enrich their own humanity as they travel and care for local people and the environment. We hope to build Visitor/Resident Partnerships for ‘Āina-Based Stewardships that engage and transform the mind, body and soul.
Imagine the impact of the annual 8+ million visitors to Hawai’i giving back to the local community, particularly to its youth. Dream Navigator is a college and career preparation program specifically designed for Hawaiian youth. It involves job shadowing, mock interviews, and volunteer work. Imagine the 8 million visitors donating at least 1 hour of volunteer work each day directly helping youth, helping restore native structures (such as fish ponds), visiting with kupuna, building a home, growing and harvesting organic food, etc. to benefit the local population. It’s a win-win situation. With the proposed Ho’oulu program, the visitors would provide this assistance at each designated campsite during each day of their visit.
In the midst of today’s Hawai'i COVID-19 epidemic and political unrest, some locals hold hostile views towards tourism and Airbnb rentals. Some residents may make ignorant efforts to destroy history (anti-culture), promote anti-police sentiment (anarchy); and slander and verbally abuse Hawai’i travel writers. We need to find long-term solutions that have the potential to benefit both local residents and visitors to make tourism a win-win situation?
Hawai'i is the only state in the US without a campsite with full hookups. If available, sustainable RVing around the island chain to see the views and experience the island culture everyday firsthand would be ideal. One of the restrictions and negative impacts of RVing in Hawai'i are the winding roads even though 50 passenger motor coaches seem to barely maneuver through them. We recommend stealth Mercedes Benz Sprinter vans or converted UHaul Box Truck RV's that have been converted into RV’s. They can fit in a regular parking stall (width-wise) and are only about 3’ longer than a standard car. Instead of parking overnight in Waikiki, they would park in exclusive campsites on private properties, far away from community parking areas. Although the RV’s we recommend already have their own bathrooms and showers, we would offer small bathrooms, showers and laundry facilities, recycling bins, and water on a mobile trailer that the guests would use as an option. This way, the visited properties can be returned to their previous state in a matter of minutes, without any harmful impact on the environment.
The focus of the Ho’oulu Hawai’i program is to improve the environment, to build and strengthen the relationship with the local people. Imagine Hawai’ian language students, storytellers, kupuna, priests, artisans sharing their language and talents with visitors around a campfire at a designated campsite. In exchange, the visitors could help the locals with volunteer projects such as restoring ancient fish ponds, maintaining a kalo plantation, helping with mock interviews, job preparation skills, purchasing traditional crafts, herbs, food products, sharing personal experiences, etc. At first, many may conjure negative conceptions of an ‘RV Park’, but if residents learn that it’s use is to help the locals and the environment, and that the parks are in remote and private areas (such as organic farms) then they may become more accepting of it.
In the past, visitors enjoyed buying visitor trinkets, matching Hawaiian clothing, plastic leis, fake imported hula skirts, as souvenirs of their travels. Why not create opportunities to establish new relationships with new friends everyday in each of the RV locations? This could be 2-3 different experiences during the day such as activity and attraction visits in addition to each of 3-14 overnight experiences during one vacation. Imagine trying to check-in and out of 3-14 hotels within your 2 week Hawai’i vacation. But since you would be traveling in an RV, that wouldn’t be necessary, you just focus on enjoying the various destinations and still be comfortable and have almost all of the amenities of a hotel, but with even more personal service and variety of activities.
There is a wealth of benefits of that stem from this new method of visiting Hawaii:
Positive emotional impact with activities, locations, adventures, interaction
Interesting and unique ‘behind the scenes’ tours that focus on nature, culture, restoration, sustainability
Location-based tourism, origin and meaning of place names, people and events, songs, dances
Protocol at arriving and leaving destinations
Exclusive parking areas, discount and services
Provides employment for locals
Helps young locals prepare for college and career (use Dream Navigator curriculum developed specifically for Hawai’ian high school students)
Supports conservation of habitats, species and historic sites
Stimulates infrastructure investment
Contributes to local economies
Places of natural beauty to be visited:
tropical island resorts
Some examples of traditional visitor attractions which visitors may participate in:
museums and art galleries
buildings and structures
living history museums
food tasting tour
ethnic communities (plantation communities, etc)
learn about ahupua’a
macadamia nut tasting
nursery, vertical gardens
Polynesian Cultural Center
Waimea Falls botanical garden
learn how to make leis
learn how to haku
Hawai'ian medicine and healing
Traditional spa, lomilomi
exclusive immersive tour
location based, meaning of places
kalo planting and harvesting
traditional Hawaiian lomilomi massage
women-minority owned businesses
traditional art and crafts workshops
cultural events, festivals
pareo making (have visitor make their own pareo)
teach them how to tie a pareo
learn about Hawaii's monarchy
making stone poi pounders
how to live off the land
how to open a coconut
how to make tapa cloth
how to draw on tapa cloth
identifying meaning of polynesian tattoo symbols
meaning of plants, symbols used in art (how to respect aumakua and heiau)
have them learn prayers to make request to use plants for making adornments
have them learn how to make costume adornments (leis, hei upo’o)
games to identify plants and uses
historical reenactments, Iolani Palace
photos, videos of experience
Reciprocate with locals with: (“give and take” instead of just “take”)
Dream Navigator college and career prep curriculum written for Hawai’ian youth
Work Plan and Timeline
Start in October 2020 to identify partners, schedules, places to park overnight.
Purchase inaugural Class B RV and have it shipped to Hawai’i from California.
Build 2 restrooms, 2 showers and laundry facility on an 8’ x 20’ towable trailer.
Develop and finalize itineraries for visitors. Start with O’ahu. Start with 3 day to 14 day experiences with up to 100 different experiences identified (see above for samples).
Meet with and train all prospective talent to work with our program.
Meet with landowners willing to lease their property. (We are confident that I can get at least 3 landowners that will not charge us to lease their land).
Work with an existing Hawai’i tour company with a PUC license that already provides custom tours on O’ahu and other islands. They have 15 years experience and the capacity to grow the program. They help certify tour operators’ knowledge of the culture and history of Hawai’i.
Ho’oulu Hawai’i: A Destination Management Action Plan for O’ahu, Hawai’i in Response to the Growing Number of Resentful Residents Towards the Intrusion of Tourism (Overtourism) and the Worrisome Economic, Social and Physical Long-Term Impact that COVID-19 may have on O’ahu
a) Development of a vision.
Ho’oulu Hawai'i: Travelling to O’ahu and sharing 1 hour of life skills to residents, on common ground, during each day of a visitor’s vacation in Hawai’i within secured eco-friendly campsites accessed by RV vans instead of visitors staying at hotels or Airbnb locations.
b) Providing background information on the value of the tourism economy for the island, including but not limited to visitor statistics, visitor satisfaction, resident sentiment, tax revenue contributions, and jobs.
A Mobile Eco-Voluntourism Program Offering Visiting Volunteers to Oa’hu Discounted Stealth RV Vans parked in Exclusive Eco-Villages/Farms
Ho’oulu Hawai'i is a project of Yes Education, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to create thriving O'ahu eco-communities, one relationship at a time. We connect volunteers (visitors to O'ahu) who want to make a difference (both economically, culturally and socially) with O’ahu residents where they learn, share, teach, work, engage and immerse themselves with their life skills on common ground for the greater good of the communities they visit while minimizing negative impacts. The goal for visitors and residents alike is to make their visit a fulfilling and memorable experience for all and to provide new local jobs.
A work exchange, also known as work travel or voluntourism, is a type of travel where you exchange your time, life skills and abilities for accommodation. With our website and app, we will match a resident host (at a designated campsite) who is looking for a certain kind of help (residents needing job skills, help with scholarship and college applications and preparation, job references, mock interviews, social skills, volunteer hours, etc), and lend them a hand (volunteer projects such as farming, beach cleaning, restoration projects, replacing non-native plants with native plants, restoring bird and bat habitats, planting/harvesting kalo, repairing ancient irrigation systems, etc) for a limited number of hours per week. The host management company (Ho’oulu Hawai’i) will provide you with a place to stay (Mercedes Benz or Roadtek RV) and other benefits (secured campsite with amenities such as extra restrooms, showers, laundry facility, black and grey water disposal, water, wifi, 3 recycling bins, shaded picnic tables, barbecue pit, 24/7 security).
If you combine the mobile aspect of visiting a place, and the term ecotourism with voluntourism, then we come up with a new term called Mobile Eco-Voluntourism. This new method used by visitors will be directly improving the quality of life for O’ahu residents exactly where it is needed. We will put together a special discount program sponsored by local businesses to offer certain amenities or activities at a lower price. (i.e. horseback riding, food supplies, etc). Perhaps certain activities, attractions, restaurants could start providing volunteer/exchange services during the day. We would expect that each visitor would provide at least one hour of volunteer service per day during their stay. They could spend the hours as they like, just so they total the number of days that they are on vacation by the end of their trip equal to the number of hours they provided. (i.e. 10 hours of volunteer service during a 10 day vacation). The services of the Mobile Eco-Voluntourism visitors can be recorded in our hosted Ho’oulu Hawai’i blog and promoted on social media such as youtube, facebook, instagram.
An existing online Hawai’i tour company, with 20 years of experience handling private and escorted tours will book the visitor’s flights, van rentals and activities. A Ho’oulu app and integrated website will be created to track visitor arrival at campsites and the check-in and check-out times with residents. It will be used to match visitor skills with the needs of the residents. A QR code will be available at all activity sites and campground sites for visitors to scan to help match interests and skills. Both residents will complete a brief online assessment after each activity. At the end of the experience, both visitors and residents will write their final reflections for later posting. A Verizon Wireless Humm Fleet GPS device will be inside each vehicle to track the location of the vans and the status of the engine. This is especially helpful if the van breaks down and if a tow truck is needed. The tracking device will also be used to ensure that the vehicles are not being parked in areas that are intrusive to locals, and to verify that the vehicles visited the designated volunteer activity sites.
c) Preparation of a SWOT and logic model.
Ho'oulu O'ahu Logic Model That Benefits Both O’ahu Residents and Visitors to O’ahu
A Destination Management Action Plan for O’ahu, Hawai’i in Response to the Growing Number of Resentful Residents Towards the Intrusion of Tourism (Overtourism) and the Worrisome Economic, Social and Physical Long-Term Impact that COVID-19 may have on O’ahu
Needs & Assets
There needs to be a balance between the number of visitors and the places they visit. It seems that more residents should benefit from visitors, and not just from trickle down tax revenues which may not impact them in a significant way.
In 2019, the number of visitors on O’ahu reached record numbers. Some communities, such as Kailua have begun to resent the arrival of visitors even though their presence benefits local businesses. It seems that too many people are trying to visit the beautiful beachfront areas at the same time on foot or by bicycle which seems to pose security and safety hazards. Also, visitors are being dropped off by motorcoach or mini-vans in front of resident homes.
Youth of O’ahu
O’ahu tourism industry
Finding a win-win situation for both residents and visitors is a priority.
Uplift the social and economic status of O’ahu’s communities by visitors sharing their life-skills during their vacation, especially for the youth, elderly and those negatively impacted by tourism.
We support these 5 Sustainable Development Goals by the UN relevant to our business model:
No poverty - End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
Quality education - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Gender equality - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Climate action -Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Partnerships for the goals - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
Ho’oulu Hawai'i: Travelling to O’ahu and sharing 1 hour of life skills to residents, on common ground, during each day of a visitor’s vacation in Hawai’i within secured eco-friendly campsites accessed by RV vans instead of visitors staying at hotels or Airbnb locations.
Act with purpose, feed the future
Collaboration (connects us)
Empower poor and marginalised people to take charge of their own development
Share skills and knowledge to create long lasting, sustainable change
Build collaborative partnerships that promote innovation, growth and impact
Lead volunteering for development, setting the standard for ourselves and others
Use evidence and insight to guide our actions
Recruit the right people and work where we have the greatest impact
Stand beside and advocate for those who have been denied choice and opportunity
Promote diversity and equality throughout our work
Encourage different, inquisitive perspectives
Commit to safeguarding and take a zero-tolerance approach to abuse and harm
Treat others with respect, as equals
Be open, transparent and accountable in everything we do
Recycling all waste as much as possible.
Return campground in the same state as it was when visitors arrived.
Promote these General Learning Outcome (GLO’s) for students:
Self-directed Learner (The ability to be responsible for one's own learning)
Community Contributor (The understanding that it is essential for human beings to work together)
Complex Thinker (The ability to demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving)
Quality Producer (The ability to recognize and produce quality performance and quality products)
Effective Communicator (The ability to communicate effectively)
Effective and Ethical User of Technology (The ability to use a variety of technologies effectively and ethically)
Sample Learning Models that can be Used by Visitors to Share with the Youth of Residents:
Resources include existing local Hawaii Tour companies, host land owners willing to help.
There could be some interesting dynamics taking place based on the location of the campsite, the program, the visitors and residents involved. We would like to document the observations of those dynamics for further study.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority is willing to collaborate with the community to improve visitor and resident relationships by offering community members to write proposals and plans to find long-term solutions.
What we invest
Our staff will be working 7 days a week to support the program. They will be on call 24/7 in case of emergencies.
Each visitor will volunteer an average of 1 hour a day during the entire duration of their vacation.
Staff meetings will held each week
An infusion of capital to purchase the first vans and to pay the staff is needed.
All new members of the Ho’oulu O’ahu do not require previous experience. They need to be willing to learn from our team members, encourage a positive working environment and care about people’s successes and well-being..
As time progresses, the program will improve and students will learn new skills since they are always in demand. Learning with mentors will help young people with their logic and reasoning skills.
We will need vans, trailers with extra restrooms, laundry facilities, picnic tables, water, wifi.
We will use an app on smartphones and Humm devices plugged into vans to track their location.
We will need 2-3 different camping locations when we first start. Preferably at least an acre each.
Laptops, smartphones, iPads, Humm devices
Hawaii tour company, Hawaii Tourism Authority, DBEDT, other collaborators.
Main Areas of Focus
Community Service Learning
Who we reach
High school and college students, elderly, impaired, others
Yes Education board of directors
Hawaii Tourism Authority (hopefully!)
Visitors to Hawaii
Hawaii Department of Education
Yes Education board of directors
Hawaii tour company
High school and college students
What we do
Products, curriculum, resources
Products, curriculum, resources
Workshops and meetings
Students, teachers, parents, community
We will counsel and advise both visitors and residents how to best exchange information
Meeting between visitors and residents
Hawaii Tourism Authority, local community associations, local businesses, local attractions and activities
Disseminate/Work with Media
Showcase accomplishments to digital and print media, TV stations
OUTPUTS Direct Products
What we create
We will create a detailed handbook for both the visitors and the residents on how best to experience the exchange of information or volunteer service.
The events will be determined by schedules created by Ho’oulu app and website.
These will include college and career preparation, help with agricultural projects such as permaculture, etc.
We will create blog and other social media content bases on the visitor and resident experiences
Have articles written in Honolulu Advertiser, MidWeek newspapers.
Share our success with other tourism boards.
Our goal is to satisfy many families in the Ko’olauloa district by providing free computer and computer repair so students in their families can do homework and other assignments without paying a fortune for technology.
Making learning and sharing knowledge fun. My daughter normally charges money to teach visitors how to make Lei Po’o’s. Imagine visitors learning the skill and donating their Lei Po’o’s to a special under-served resident. The visitor learns a valued skill (and having fun in the process), and a resident receives a free, unexpected gift in exchange.
Waialua Community Association
Haleiwa Community Association
Kahuku Community Association
Laie Community Association
Hau’ula Community Association
Ka’a’awa Community Association
Punalu’u Community Association
Kane’ohe Community Association
OUTPUT IMPACT Short-Term
Results in terms of Learning
Of Hawai’ian culture, protocol, history
The program will help people learn with hands-on experience and with varying and unique contexts.
Help people think about the value of being positive and helping each other.
Transforming hedonistic Hawaii vacationers to empathetic volunteers willing to give back.
Students learn valuable job skills.
We would like to see more young women and men become involved and supported in STEM projects.
We would like more people in our community to have a more favorable opinion of visitors.
Help match young residents with mentors and volunteers, find scholarships and jobs for them related to their interests and skills.
We aspire to help young people on O’ahu to find and use the resources they need to find a rewarding career.
Our sincere motivation is to help young people discover their purpose by helping others.
OUTPUT IMPACT Intermediate
Results in terms of changing Action
As young residents take their roles seriously, their behavior improves and they are now looked as professionals.
As we document all of the contributions of the program, administrators, participants gain confidence in their roles.
(i.e program planning, gap analysis, next steps)
Measure and document our progress to facilitate the decision-making process by our stakeholders.
Document policies and standards in the visitor and resident handbooks.
Be ADA compliant.
Be sure to be on the outlook for potential programs we can help.
OUTPUT IMPACT Long-Term - RESIDENT IMPROVEMENTS AND VISITOR SATISFACTION
Results in terms of change to the Condition
Social (i.e. Reach, Participation, Diversity)
Advertise our program once it gets off the ground.
Economic (i.e. more funding for programs, more cost effective programs).
Make sure that the 15 year ROI is followed closely. Minimize unnecessary expenditures and look for additional sources of revenue.
Civic (i.e. Reach, Community Assessment)
Recipients of shared experiences should share their new knowledge with their respective communities.
Make sure that all waste is divided and collected in the appropriate bins. Make an effort to minimize any waste such as bags, packaging, etc.
We will be able to use campsites without difficulties and that they will be secure.
There are existing Hawaii tour companies that provide private excursions in passenger vans. They would just need to adapt to RV vans and expand their offerings to include the involvement of residents and enhance their cultural immersion programs. My friend that owns a Hawaii tour company also helps certify motorcoach drivers and tour guides on their cultural and historical knowledge of Hawai’i.
Cost of purchasing vans and transporting them to Hawaii. Capital funding is needed to get the program started.
Residents would be more open to programs that benefit them and have less impact on the environment.
Provides opportunities to clean, restore, recycle.
Provides educational and career opportunities to benefit O’ahu’s youth.
Epidemic and/or political unrest worsens, limiting travel to O’ahu and physical interactions with residents.
Resident resentment towards overtourism.
Write effective and meaningful assessment programs using google forms.
Continuously improve the Ho’oulu Hawai’i model.
Share documentation, visit with community associations, travel officials.
Have tourism officials share this new tourism model with conventions and media outlets.
Recommended Reading as One Plans the Future of Tourism in Hawai’i
“Vision of Hawai’i’s Tourism” by Dr. Pauline Sheldon
Help the Youth of O’ahu become 21st Century Learners as a Result of Ho’oulu Hawai’i:
Desired Outcomes for 21st Century Learners:
7C’s of Transformational Learning:
Critical Thinking & Problem-solving Research, Analysis, Synthesis, Project Management, etc.
Creativity & Innovation New Knowledge Creation, ”Best Fit” Design Solutions, Artful Storytelling, etc.
Collaboration, Teamwork & Leadership Cooperation, Compromise, Consensus, Community-building, etc.
Cross-cultural Understanding Across Diverse Ethnic, Knowledge & Organizational Cultures
Communication & Media Fluency Crafting & Analyzing Messages & Using Media Effectively
Computing & ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Fluency Effective Use of Electronic Information & Knowledge Tools
Career & Learning Self-reliance Managing Change, Lifelong Learning & Career Redefinition
21st Century Learning Formula 3R's X 7C's = 21st Century Learning - Oracle Learning Foundation
d) Identification of objectives, strategies, and prioritized actions.
Actionable Items and Timelines developed in collaboration with the county, the community, visitor industry, and other sectors. In addition, the DMAP will identify areas to manage for proactive mitigation planning.
11/1/20 Order 2 pilot RV’s to start the program and have it shipped to Honolulu and purchase auto insurance for it.
11/1/20 Finalize with the Hawai'i Tourism Authority, Hawai'i Visitor & Convention Bureau details about the program (locations, activities that benefit residents both economically and socially that provide a positive experience for both residents and visitors, and minimizing impacts corresponding with the community’s lifestyles and values, partners, minimizing impacts, restrictions, etc)
11/1/20 Finalize contract with existing Hawai’i Tour company. 1 out of 3 will be selected.
11/15/20 Upon approval, start an advertising program with at least 2 secured camping locations and 10 different shared beneficial activities for both residents and visitors. Buildrestrooms, showers, laundry facilities, on 2 trailers.
11/15/20 Finalize the app and website.
11/15/20 Finalize the traditional welcome, orientation and farewell protocols for each site. Provide books about Hawai’ian culture, places, history, and language at each campsite.
12/1/2020 Start booking tours for the new program.
12/1/2020 Evaluate tours and make improvements.
Sample ‘Aina-based Activities (with suggested locations)
Teaching (where needed)
Visit a senior home or center for handicapped (where needed)
Business skill preparation, mock interview, job shadowing, college and career preparation (where needed)
Job preparation (where needed)
Ancient fish pond restoration (Haleiwa)
Gravesite restoration (Kahuku)
Organic farming, permaculture, setting up home gardens, planting/harvesting kalo (Kane’ohe)
Repairing ancient irrigation systems (Punalu’u)
Beach cleaning (Kahuku)
Replacing non-native plants with native plants (La’ie)
Restoring bird and bat habitats (Kahuku)
One may question why is 1 hour of volunteer service required each day during a vacation? Most if not all of the activities will be valuable to the volunteer. For example, I remember PAYING $100 for a permaculture class to get down on my hands and knees to plant seeds. Imagine RECEIVING a $50 credit for it instead. Also, the value of helping someone in need is priceless, and the memories of you giving service should be more memorable than just sitting on a beach.
We will start our program in locations on O’ahu (the island that receives the most visitors) where natural resources, residential areas, and infrastructure have felt the negative impact of tourism.
Imagine 8 million visitors donating 10 hours during their 10 day vacation (1 hour per day of their vacation) to help native Hawai'ians improve the quality of their lives.
There are 32,000 native Hawai'ians with at least a 50% Hawai'ian blood quantum.
That would be 1,250 hours (8 million x 5 hours / 32,000 = 1,250) of service for each Hawai'ian per week.
38.6% of Hawai'i's population is Asian,
24.7% is White,
10% is Native Hawai'ian or other Pacific Islanders,
8.9% is Hispanic,
1.6% is Black or African American,
0.3% is American Indian and Alaska Native,
23.6% of all Hawai'i residents are of multi-ethnic background (two or more races).
The total population of Hawai'i in 2020 is about 1.5 million
If the projects were targeted for the under-served and native Hawai'ian and of mixed races, perhaps the number would be 300,000 or ⅕ of the Hawai'i population.
(8 million visitors x 10 hours of volunteer service) / 300,000 people = is 266 hours per under-served resident, which is still a considerable amount of potential help.
Visitors and residents would meet at private camps (common ground), not at a resort, and not on resident private property, and not take any public parking spaces. The visitors would use the Mercedes Benz Sprinter or Roadtek RV van to access these properties each day. An RV van looks like any utility van, it fits in a normal parking space, and is only 4’ longer than a car.
Imagine scaling this program up for the half of the world that lives on less than $2.50 a day. And the 900 million people cannot read or write.
Imagine if half a 8 billion people (the world’s population) each providing about 5 service hours a week, that’s 20 billion hours of volunteer service to help 4 billion people (the world’s underserved population), which would mean each underserved person in the world could potentially receive 5 hours of volunteer service per week.
“Globally, travel and tourism directly contributed approximately 2.9 trillion U.S. dollars to GDP in 2019. In the same year, the United States' travel and tourism industry directly contributed the highest amount to global GDP, with a total of 580.7 billion U.S. dollars.Mar 31, 2020” - statista.com
It would be wonderful if some of travel and tourism revenue could help the locals in the areas visited, not only in money spent (which often doesn’t trickle down), but in volunteer service rendered to the local people. Total hours of volunteer service should be tracked as closely as dollars spent.
The Eco-Voluntourism project should be managed by a nonprofit.
The volunteer visitors would be charged a discounted daily fee for using the RV Vans and parking in exclusive Ecovillages/Farms (Wahi Kuai or place where exchanges are made).
Some of the food and beverages, activities, will be discounted or free.
Instead of buying fast food, most of the food will come from organic plots at the campsites.
The volunteer visitors will promote sustainability, permaculture, organic farming, education, job skills, communication, etc.
Eventually we would like all of the vans to be electric and powered by solar panels at the campsites.
We would like the fresh water to come from the air instead of using resident sources of water.
All grey and black water waste would have to be treated at a sewage treatment plant.
No alcohol, drugs, smoking will be allowed.
There's no limit to what kinds of places offer this form of exchange. Hostels, campsites, NGOs, social projects, farms, ecovillages, restaurants, cultural attractions and even small businesses could host travelers from around the world for volunteer work exchanges.
Meet at a neutral middle ground, not from an expensive resort or at a resident’s house.
Locations will be more likely at a farm or private area not frequented by visitors.
Having to stay in a stealth RV makes it easy to visit the eco-sites each day, plus there shouldn’t be any parking fees.
In case a visitor can’t provide the volunteer service, perhaps a donation of $50 for each hour would be used to make a contribution to one of the restoration efforts, the same way some hotels in Hawai'i charge a $50 resort fee (whether you use it or not).
Ho’oulu Hawai'i: An Eco-Voluntourism Program was conceived partly in response to this excellent report by the DBEDT back in 2004, a first of its kind:
Sustainable Tourism in Hawai`i Socio-Cultural and Public Input Component Volume III: Socio-Cultural Impacts of Tourism in Hawai`i – Impacts on Native Hawai'ians”
Instead of residents showing disdain to visitors for invading their land, we can turn it around.
Overtourism TV news story in Kailua.
e) Identification of responsible agencies/organizations to carry out the actions.
We will select an existing Hawai'i Tour company that specializes in custom tours on O’ahu. There are several to choose from, we won’t make a selection unless a contract is awarded. Three of the owners of different Hawai'i Tour companies are close friends of ours.
f) Identification of a timeframe for completion.
The project can start booking visitors by 12/1/2020. Refer to Actionable Items and Timelines above.
Refer to Figure 2 for “Ho’oulu Hawai’i 15 Year Implementation Plan” (attachment)
g) Identification of measures for success.
O'ahu Visitors in the program enjoy the volunteer portion of their vacation and see it as a highlight instead of work.
Local residents receive the volunteer working work by the visitors and benefit from it either physically or mentally.
Young residents will benefit from college and career training and entrepreneur skills by collaborating with visitors.
Fewer visitors are using prime parking spaces.
Waste is recycled more often than ending up in the dumpster.
Less food imported from outside Hawai’i, since most of the food will be grown and harvested fresh in Hawai’i from the local farmers they assisted.
Less rubbish on the beach, cleaner fish ponds, mended ancient irrigation systems, cleaner historical monuments.
The cost of the Mercedes Benz Sprinter or Roadtek Vans will pay for themselves within 2 years with a 70% occupancy rate.
Existing attractions, restaurants and retail establishments may start offering new eco-tourism events to attract visitors from our program.
An improved respect for Hawai'ian culture and values. Improved respect from residents back to visitors as a result of their volunteer work.
Detailed Cost Breakdown
$25,000 total x 2 = $50,000. https://www.yes.education/uhaul
$20,000 to custom build 2 restrooms, 2 showers and laundry facilities on a trailer puller by the RV. Foldable picnic tables and 2 awnings extended from the unit.
$20,000 to lease land to park the RV’s overnight at 4 sites for one year.
$10,000 cost of annual permit, licenses, limited liability and auto insurance coverage.
Cost of initial training programs, develop itineraries, vendor contracts, creating maps, instructions, develop relationships with auto repair shops, tour and activity operators,
One-time management fee to develop marketing program, printing fees, website and social media development and advertising. Work on a plan to expand the fleet of RV’s to 1,000 vehicles. Each RV could create over $200 of direct revenue per day and $500 for additional revenue and taxes from meals, activities, gas, etc. It also creates jobs and revenue for scholarship programs, etc.
Total cost to start the inaugural Ho’oulu Hawai’i program: $100,000.