According to the new project, the use of nature would be subject to a high fee. If the Ecological Act is passed, it will come into force in 2025.
Hawaii, which last year struggled with a disaster that led to a sharp decline in the number of foreigners visiting the islands, is considering introducing a new tourist tax of $50 (about PLN 200). For this amount, visitors would be issued an annual license allowing them to use natural resources offered by the American state, such as public beaches or national parks.
Hawaii environmental fee
The discussion on introducing an environmental fee returns to the Hawaiian legislature after a year. Senate Bill 304 would allow authorities to collect $50 from tourists who would like to use Hawaii’s natural resources – which is, in practice, from the majority of travelers coming to the islands. The project assumes that a new tax would be the best way to offset the impact of tourists on the natural environment. According to legislators, visitors benefit from Hawaiian nature to the same extent – just like residents, so they would be burdened with additional costs related to the exploitation of the environment. After paying $50, tourists would receive a year-round license that would allow them to use places such as coastlines, beaches, trails and parks. People who risk using these and similar places without paying the fee will have to pay a penalty.
The tax may discourage tourists
However, the new idea has its opponents. Although the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, which is responsible for the project, believes that “the fee would fund land and water conservation and management projects, which would improve the ability to care for unique resources,” not everyone sees only positive aspects of the proposed law. The opposition claims that forcing a fee on tourists will turn them away from Hawaii as a vacation destination, which will result in serious losses for the economy. “If the act is adopted, it will enter into force on July 1, 2025,” we read.