Hawai’i Tourism: A Modest Proposal

Not long ago I was on the Big Island of Hawaii on vacation. We were there for a week, and we snorkeled, body-surfed and dined out. Last year we also went to Volcanoes National Park, where we hiked through lava tubes, checked out the Kilauea Caldera, then drove down to the end of the park to see the lava falling in the ocean, which was fascinating and sketchy, in about equal measure. We also ponied up for a submarine ride, which allowed our little guy and his grandma to see fish by looking through the windows.

In other words, we had quite a fun, busy week — though that isn’t the point of this post.

We also visited with friends who were staying at a different hotel. Their hotel typically has a kiddie pool, but since it was being remodeled, the kids were allowed to share one of the adult pools during the remodel.

In tight proximity to the pool on three sides were chaises, about half full of adults doing … nothing. Just lying there, reading, while the Pacific Ocean beckoned 100 yards away, while sea turtles rested on the beach, while tropical fish swam in their own tide-filled lagoon. I even took a picture of an eagle ray cruising around there … it was just that easy.


Yet the whole time we were watching someone feed the eagle rays and having lunch and swimming and watching the turtles, these people poolside didn’t budge, unless it was to roll over, or get Evian water spritzed on them. (No I’m not making this up. If you have enough money, apparently you can get people to do all sorts of embarrassing things to you.)

Then in USA Today, I found statistical evidence that these hopeless slugs are practically the majority of vacationers:


Which makes me think we could save a great deal of time, money and carbon if we just identified these people before they ever got on a plane. Hell, if Dubai can build a ski resort


Then surely we can build Hawaii simulation centers in large urban areas. With enough warming lamps, humidifiers and island-trained chefs, I’m sure we could build a very expensive, exclusive, peaceful pool where lazy, harried vacationers can get the Hawaii “experience” without bothering to move their carcasses halfway across the Pacific just to baste.

Meanwhile, the few of us who actually want to do stuff will just do things the old-fashioned way.