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Economist explores the need for Hawaiʻi to be smarter about tourism

Casey Harlow

The state is said to be on the verge of announcing the award of two tourism contracts: one to market the islands and the other to better manage visitor numbers and impact. Gov. Josh Green is expected to set aside $70 million to fund the winning bids.

During the 2023 legislative session, lawmakers stopped short of replacing the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority with an office inside the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism — where it used to be decades ago.

Paul Brewbaker of TZ Economics joined The Conversation to share why he thinks Hawaiʻi should look at a new model for our number one economic engine — tourism. He co-authored a position paper with fellow economist James Mak and tourism consultant Frank Haas calling for tourism management to be a shared, distributed responsibility.

This interview aired on The Conversation on May 16, 2023. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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