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Study Shows Most Mainland Visitors Are Willing to Pay More for Sustainable Travel

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About 70% of U.S. domestic visitors to Hawaiʻi are willing to pay more for authentic and sustainable travel experiences, according to research from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and West Oʻahu.

The study had more than 400 respondents — most of whom were visiting Hawaiʻi for the first time.

Approximately one-third of the survey respondents said they are willing to spend 10% more to experience culturally respectful tourism — 20% of respondents said they are willing to pay 16% extra.

The study also found that the majority of domestic tourists would pay more to support locally sourced food.

Jerry Agrusa, a professor at the UH Mānoa School of Travel Industry Management, says culture is important to the tourist experience.

"One of the things that families, we found in some of my past research, is they want something educational, something that children bring back. Not just playing volleyball on the beach but maybe learning about the local culture," Agrusa explains.

More than 800,000 visitors from the continental U.S. came to Hawaiʻi in July.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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