HOTELPAC – 2020 Candidate Questionnaire (State)
1) The future of tourism in Hawai‘i
Despite tourism’s status as one of our state’s top economic drivers, the
COVID-19 pandemic has led some to call for our economy to diversify
away from tourism. HLTA’s longstanding position has been that our
economy should look to diversify within tourism, i.e., develop and
expand industries that complement tourism. Would you support this
policy given the challenge of identifying industries that could
immediately replace the number of jobs and revenue tourism generates
for our state’s economy?
2) Tourism Management
HLTA has long maintained that we believe in the “quality” tourism
model rather than the “quantity” tourism model. Effective execution of
this responsible management model takes many forms, one being the
establishment of user impact fees at popular visitor attractions such as
O‘ahu’s Hanauma Bay. Do you support user impact fees?
• 3) Funding for the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
In FY2019, the State collected $600.3 million in TAT revenue, of
which $79 million was allocated to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.
The severe decline in TAT revenues means that future funding is in
jeopardy for vital visitor industry marketing and support, public
services provided by the counties, and other recipients of that
money. With tourism-derived revenue expected to remain low or
non-existent for many months to come—at a time when HTA
marketing support for the industry will be most needed—would
you be in favor of reallocating other State revenues to the Hawai‘i
Tourism Authority and mandated recipients of TAT funding to
enable the visitor industry to reopen and rebuild?
• 4) Homelessness Solutions
In recent years, HLTA has worked with the HTA and Legislature to
administer and allocate $1 million in State matching funds to
address homelessness. Would you support a similar measure that
would provide funds for this initiative?
• Moreover, how would you work with the visitor industry to
address homelessness statewide? Provide job training for the
homeless in the visitor industry.
Move the homeless population to
places where they are not a threat to tourists by providing small
houses. See my websites for possible solutions. Work with IHS
and other nonprofits who are making head way in helping the
• 5) Sustainability in the Visitor Industry
Hawai‘i’s visitor industry has gone to great lengths to make its
businesses more “green” and eco-friendly. What government
incentives would you propose or support to help our industry
bolster these initiatives?
Reduced taxation and regulations for
this industry. Provide tax incentives for innovative technologies.
Promote and encourage public-private partnerships.Host
International trade shows in Hawaii for these technologies.
• 6) Visitor Industry Health, Safety & Security Standards
As the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread throughout our state,
it became clear that establishing health and hygiene standards
would be critical to restoring trust in our industry. As such, we
developed the HLTA Health, Safety & Security Standards. These
were created after reviewing the latest information from the CDC,
WHO, and EPA, as well as input from industry stakeholders. Our
standards were submitted to the State Department of Health for its
review. After receiving DOH approval, we shared our standards
with the governor, HI-EMA, State Attorney General, and all the
mayors. Please answer yes or no: Would you support the adoption
of our standards as statewide policy for lodging properties?
• 7) Aloha Stadium Development
There appears to be ample public and legislative support for the
replacement of aging Aloha Stadium, in which the State would use
a public-private partnership to construct a new stadium and transit oriented development to create opportunities for housing,
commercial, and/or industrial growth. With the State government
facing an austere financial future, do you support proceeding with
the public-private partnership to replace the stadium and develop
the site, including authorizing a State investment in this project?
• 8) COVID-19 Response
State officials have been roundly criticized both for the efficacy of
their efforts to quell the spread of COVID-19, as well as the way in
which they have communicated with the public during this crisis.
Do you agree with this criticism?
• if so, how would you have handled this public health emergency
differently? I would have listened to the experts and the plans
they presented and cautiously proceeded with them. I would have
planned for the worst and expected the best. The tourism industry
is being destroyed because there seems to be no plan , just
reactions to weekly covid-19 cases. .
I would look at what other
countries and States have done to reopen and at least moved
forward. Indecision has hurt businesses and families and many
will not recover.
• 9) If elected, what do you hope to accomplish during your first
year in office, which will undoubtedly be one of the most
challenging and difficult times the state and counties have ever
I will offer hope to the people of Hawaii. People are
loosing faith in government and that needs to change. I will try to
regain the trust of the people. I will do this by seeing them,
listening to them and serving them. The tourism industry must be
reopened and rebuilt. There are too many owners employers, and
employees lives are depending on it. I will work hard to produce
legislation that makes this possible.
• 10) Please share with us one fun fact about yourself.
As a young man I loved to watch Hawaii 50 and Magnum, P.I.
and see all the beautiful places in Hawaii. I would dream about
visiting all the beautiful places and people. Now I live here and I
feel extremely happy about that.