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Well dressed homeless in Waikiki now begging tourists for money

Well dressed homeless in Waikiki now begging tourists for money

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While hotels and resorts in Waikiki are running record numbers and tourists from China had been identified as top spenders, record profits are not converting in the ability for the State of Hawaii to take care of their homeless population.

The solution has often been finding a reason to chase homeless families from one park to another. Just about a year ago the sidewalk of oceanfront Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki turned into a camping area for homeless people sleeping in doorways of five star hotels where tourists are spending $500.00 a night.

In chasing homeless away, implementing laws and close beaches at night, homeless people are now less visible. Did they disappear?  Not really.

Homeless people now often are seen asking for money in front of resort hotels or restaurants. Homeless people now appear nicely dressed and often look like a tourist waiting for a taxi. A nice suitcase replaced the shopping cart with plastic bags.

The question remains: Who is paying for the suitcase and the clean clothing?

How long can hotels shift the responsibility to assist homeless to the State of Hawaii or to charities without feeling a decline in occupancy?

Perhaps with the clarification of the law to collect transient accommodation taxes on mandatory resort fees, there are some more options now to take care of this unfortunate sector of Hawaiians. It would be a win-win helping these people in need and secure for tourists to have a feeling of Aloha when they go home.

A great percentage of the homeless in Hawaii are minors. A group of hungry homeless youth murdered a tourist in Waik last year.





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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.