Hawaii, a destination famous for its pristine beaches and clear blue waters, may soon levy a green fee of USD 50 (INR 4,122) for tourists.
Known as the Aloha State in the US, Hawaii’s wildlife and nature has a unique charm that attracts millions of visitors from across the globe. The state’s government is proposing a tourist tax, known as a green fee, to help protect the archipelago’s natural beauty, conserve endangered species and preserve Hawaiian culture. If this proposal passes, Hawaii’s green fee will be the first environmental fee in the US.
Hawaii Governor Josh Green shared with The Points Guy, “We saw so clearly the impacts of 10 million annual visitors on our islands that in addition to my proposal, there are several being discussed at the legislature. The bottom line is that we need to generate as much revenue as we can from travellers, to help mitigate those impacts.”
The aim is to use the funds raised to restore coral reefs, preserve coastlines, clean beaches, maintain forests, invest in sustainable practices, recover native wildlife and educate visitors with ‘aina-based knowledge’.
More about Hawaii’s green fee
The proposal is that visitors will require a yearly license (the green fee) to use beaches, forests, hiking trails or state-owned parks in Hawaii and it will apply to tourists above the age of 15. The goal is to generate around USD 400-500 million (INR 3,300 -4,100 Crore approx) annually through the fee.
It will be a digital pass accessible through an app or a website. Travellers may be required to show the pass to gain entry to all state-run sites. The information about where this pass will be available to purchase is yet to be decided. However, the official website mentions that it cannot be collected at the airport.
The green fee will be an additional tax that visitors will have to pay along with the Transient Accommodation Tax (TAT) and other charges applicable at various tourist attractions.
The proposers of the green fee are confident that the additional cost will not be a financial barrier for tourists. During COVID-19, people had to pay an additional USD 60 (INR 4,948) for tests and that didn’t impact visitor numbers.
Hero and feature image credit: Bettina Nørgaard/Pixabay
All INR conversions were done at the time of writing
Related: The 18 Best Beaches In Hawaii
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: The proposed amount for the green fee is USD 50.
Answer: Not till now, but Hawaii may soon levy an annual green fee for using beaches, hiking trails and more state-owned locations.