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Hanauma Bay will require online payment, reservations for nonresidents

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HONOLULU — Visitors will now be required to make reservations and pay an online fee of $25 per person to visit one of the state's most popular sites.

Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve will begin the online fee system for everyone 13 and older except Hawaiʻi residents beginning Wednesday, Dec. 1.

“When we first launched the online reservation system in April, one of the first things we noticed were ‘no shows,’ or people not honoring their confirmed reservations," said Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation director Laura Thielen in a statement.

“Not only did this take away a spot from another visitor, but it also resulted in the potential lost revenue,” she said. “With payment now being accepted when the reservation is made, it motivates the visitor to honor that commitment, while also ensuring the funds are gathered to directly improve the nature preserve.”

Attendance once peaked at 10,000 per day. The reservation system will cap visitors to about 1,500 daily.

There is an additional $3 parking fee for out-of-state visitors — $1 per vehicle for residents. Parking fees will continue to be collected on-site.

Tickets are in high demand and the reservation website says admissions can sell out within five minutes of becoming available. People can make reservations up to two days in advance for educational video showtimes from 7 a.m. to 1:40 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays.

Entry for nonresidents remains at $25 per person, with an additional 2.35% service fee for the online payment.

Entry is free for Hawaiʻi residents, children 12 years and younger (regardless of residency), and active-duty military personnel and their families with valid identification.

Hawaiʻi residents may continue to access the nature preserve without a reservation for the first two hours of operation, Wednesdays through Sundays, the parks department said in a news release.

Click here for the online reservation system.

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