How might we enhance the resilience of Hawaii’s tourism industry to catastrophic natural disasters?
Hawaii faces numerous climate and weather related hazards, including hurricanes and typhoons, tsunamis, rainfall flooding, and rising sea levels that could impair our tourism-focused local economy. Our island location means that critical infrastructure is completely independent and cannot rely on neighboring grids for support in times of need. A strong hurricane could damage sea- and airports, creating food crises since we rely on imports for almost all commodities. When a natural disaster takes place, the the local communities, visitors and the tourism industry are affected.
Among the local communities, the lives of vulnerable people would be especially threatened by extreme climate events with many informal settlements along the coast. Disaster pose a threat to the lives of workers in the tourism industry during the crisis and after the crises since their income relies on tourism.
Tourists are also especially vulnerable to disaster risks. They are mobile, not easy to reach with relevant and timely information and unfamiliar with the landscape and potential risks. In an emergency situation, they may be unaware of how to react or what to do. Due to the large geographical and cultural differences, visitors from different regions may under or overestimate risks because of their unfamiliarity with the destination and the lack of local networks or communication avenues.
When a major disaster strikes, it could devastate our fragile local economy, which is heavily dependent upon tourism. The tourism industry will suffer because tourism flows are diverted away. The response often includes immediate booking cancellations, redirection of trips to alternative destinations and/or closing of tourist facilities. The impact may last years and will influence tourist numbers in both affected and neighbouring locations, even when conditions have changed and order is restored.
Let’s not wait until a disaster hits us, but rather re-imagine a better future by creating innovative solutions to make Hawaii more resilient.Resilience refers to the ability of individuals, societies or socio-economic systems to cope with the sudden impact of crises or disasters, and to restore as quickly as possible their ability to function and their capacity to act. Honolulu is part of 100 RESILIENT CITIES.
How can we be better prepared for weather related hazards to prevent major losses by sustainable practices? What are approaches to reduce risks? How can we manage the safety of our community and tourists during a disaster? How can we limit the damage? How to transform our response, recovery and “bounce-back” from a crisis? How might we leverage new technology before, during and after a crisis?
At ABC Stores we aim to strengthen our communities, secure our employees future and offer excellent service with the spirit of Aloha. We are looking forward to seeing your ideas!
– Sultan Ventures provides a co-working space in downtown Honolulu for 1 month for the winning team.
– The best team gets a $1,000 credit for any of the XLR8HI Entrepreneurial Workshops provided by XLR8HI