Special Report

Tourism's Tipping Point



With more than 10 million visitors a year, the skyrocketing expansion of Hawaii’s most lucrative industry is pushing the limits of the state’s beaches, hiking trails – and the state’s aloha spirit.

In an ongoing series, Civil Beat is exploring the future of tourism in Hawaii – and the critical question of how to balance the industry’s growth with sustainability.

10 Million Visitors: Can Hawaii Survive Its Own Popularity?

10 Million Visitors: Can Hawaii Survive Its Own Popularity?

The impact of a growing army of tourists has government leaders and residents questioning how to better manage Hawaii’s largest industry.

9 Charts That Show How Hawaii Tourism Is Changing Cory Lum/Civil Beat

9 Charts That Show How Hawaii Tourism Is Changing

From soaring numbers of visitors to declining rounds of golf, a by-the-numbers look at how the industry’s impacts have grown in Hawaii.

How Kailua Became A Tourist Town Cory Lum/Civil Beat

How Kailua Became A Tourist Town

Stunning beaches, Airbnbs and new developments transformed the town into a tourist hot spot — leaving some locals bemoaning a lost sense of community.

Hawaii Struggles To Maintain Its Worn-Out Hiking Trails Stewart Yerton/Civil Beat

Hawaii Struggles To Maintain Its Worn-Out Hiking Trails

“Honestly, we’re just trying to keep up with demand,” the state’s trails manager said.

Measuring The Costs and Benefits of Windward Oahu Tourism Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Measuring The Costs and Benefits of Windward Oahu Tourism

UH researchers are sending questionnaires to thousands of residents of Kailua, a once-sleepy beach town inundated by tourists in recent years

How These Travel Hotspots Are Trying To Make Tourism Pay Its Own Way Chad Blair/Civil Beat

How These Travel Hotspots Are Trying To Make Tourism Pay Its Own Way

From California to the Galapagos, overwhelmed tourist destinations are experimenting with ways to control the overflow and pay for repairing the damage.