News Releases

DBEDT Releases Results of Spring 2022 Resident Sentiment Survey

For Immediate Release: August 26, 2022
HTA Release (22-19)

22-19 HTA Spring 2022 Resident Sentiment Survey NR.pdf

Support for Destination Management Remains Strong
HONOLULU – The State of Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) has issued the results of its Spring 2022 Resident Sentiment Survey. The survey found early signs of strengthening resident sentiment toward tourism are appearing and that the desire for destination management remains strong. It also showed that while residents who are aware of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s (HTA) efforts to manage tourism are generally more positive towards tourism, awareness of these efforts are relatively low.
“It takes a collaborative effort to bring these destination management actions to fruition, from the respective steering committees and task force members HTA has convened in recent years, to the increased inter-agency coordination among state and county departments, visitor industry stakeholders, and the substantial array of community-based organizations engaged in cultural and natural resource stewardship and community enrichment programs,” said John De Fries, HTA president and CEO.
Support for regenerative tourism efforts and destination management continued as residents said it’s important to educate visitors and residents to mālama the islands and each other (91%) and encourage visitors to volunteer and give back during their visits to Hawai‘i (70%). Regarding vacation rentals, 77 percent noted it’s important to eliminate illegal vacation rentals on their island and 64 percent stated it’s important to stop approval of additional legal vacation rentals. Sixty-six percent stated it’s important to not allow the building of additional hotel/condo/timeshare units on their island.
Resident support for visitor access fees to state parks and trails increased to 73 percent, of which 43 percent felt it’s extremely important.
Twenty-seven percent of residents statewide were aware of the concepts “destination management” or “managed tourism.” Twenty-four percent were aware of HTA’s Destination Management Action Plans.
Ninety-two percent of residents agreed that visitors need to be educated about protecting Hawai‘i’s natural environment and cultural resources, 87 percent agreed that authentic presentation of Native Hawaiian language is important, 56 percent agreed that tourism helps fund the stewardship of Hawai‘i’s natural resources parks and cultural sites, and 43 percent agreed that tourism contributes to the perpetuation of Native Hawaiian culture and language.
Residents expressed strong support for using tax dollars to manage the impacts of tourism in their community (66%), rather than encourage tourism in their community (42%).
Fifty-four percent (+5 percent) of residents said they agreed that tourism has brought more benefits than problems, 36 percent (no percentage change) felt that tourism has been “mostly positive for you and your family,” and 67 percent (-1 percent) agreed that their island is “being run for tourists at the expense of local people.”
Forty-six percent (+2 percent) of residents felt that more effort is being made to balance economic benefits of tourism and residents’ quality of life, 41 percent (+2 percent) said tourism is being better managed on their island, and 27 percent (+3 percent) agreed with the statement, “I have a voice in my island’s tourism development decisions.”
Resident satisfaction is one of the overall Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of HTA’s 2020 - 2025 Strategic Plan. The other three KPI are average daily visitor spending, visitor satisfaction, and total visitor spending.
Resident sentiment has been measured since 1988. The Spring 2022 Resident Sentiment Survey was conducted by Omnitrak Group, Inc., which was selected by DBEDT as the provider for this study. The survey was fielded from May 7 through July 30, 2022. Residents in all four counties participated in the survey by phone and online.
The results of the Spring 2022 survey are compared to the Fall 2021 Resident Sentiment Survey, which was conducted from November 8, 2021 through January 3, 2022.
The Spring 2022 Resident Sentiment Survey is available on HTA’s website:

Media Contacts:

T. Ilihia Gionson
Public Affairs Officer
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
(808) 973-2255 (o)
[email protected]