Hawaiian Tourists Could Soon Get Hit with a New Fee

The Hawaiian government just proposed a new tax for visitors.

Travelers interested in heading over to Hawaii are now finding themselves in an already-seen-before situation. But unlike a déjà-vu, the memories of this happening are, in fact, real.

Hawaii Governor Josh Green recently proposed charging travelers a new tourist tax, which would apply once they check into hotels or into their short-term rental. Setting each tourist back $25, the fee would be used to further invest in the state and increase prevention efforts, from fire breaks to beach preservation and other environmental concerns.

Dubbed the Climate Impact Fee, the new proposed tax would ultimately be a measure to both fight and curb overtourism in Hawaii, according to Green.

"A Climate Impact Fee on visitors would provide the needed resources to protect our environment and increase awareness of the impacts of climate change," Green said in his latest state of the state speech. "I believe this is not too much to ask of visitors to our islands [...] Hawaii's natural resources—our beaches, forests, and waterfalls—are an essential part of our culture and our way of life."

But this isn't exactly groundbreaking news. In the past, there have been previous attempts on the Hawaiian government's part at introducing similar fees, but so far, they haven't been successful.

In February 2023, as Thrillist reported, Governor Green proposed a yearly $50 for visitors to enter Hawaii's parks, beaches, hiking trails, and forests in an effort to generate more funding to preserve the areas most affected by overtourism.

"We saw so clearly the impacts of 10 million annual visitors on our islands that in addition to my proposal, there are several being discussed at the legislature," Green told The Points Guy back then. "The bottom line is that we need to generate as much revenue as we can from travelers, to help mitigate those impacts."

The bill, however, ended up not passing, despite the extensive support it received.

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She will beg you not to put pineapple on pizza. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.