A Guide to Respectful & Responsible Travel in Oahu
Aloha, and a warm welcome to you! As many of you know, our sister island of Maui has faced devastating wildfires, affecting both its historic communities and its beautiful landscapes. This has led to an influx of visitors to Oahu, searching for that quintessential Hawaiian experience—and we’re thrilled to have you! While we are excited to share our island’s beauty and culture, we also want to take a moment to emphasize the importance of mindful tourism. Your visit doesn’t just mean a great selfie by the surf; it has the power to bolster our local communities and people who rely heavily on the tourism industry.
So, let’s make your trip memorable for all the right reasons! At Marina Hawaii Vacations, we are committed to promoting a form of tourism that not only benefits our visitors but also contributes to the well-being and sustainability of our islands. Be part of our ‘ohana as you practice respectful and responsible vacationing to Hawaii.
Supporting Local Businesses: The Backbone of Oahu’s Community
Nearly one-fourth of Hawaii’s economy relies on tourism, with over 200,000 jobs tied to this essential sector. The key to a sustainable future for Oahu is to nourish its lifeblood—local businesses.
When you visit, consider dining at mom-and-pop restaurants, shopping at local boutiques, and opting for locally-guided tours. This not only provides you with a more authentic Hawaiian experience but also puts money directly into the community, helping the islands to thrive.
Understanding and Practicing Eco-Tourism
Eco-tourism isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a commitment to minimize your impact on the natural environment you’re visiting. Oahu’s diverse ecosystems—from coral reefs to dense forests—are delicate and must be treated with care.
When you visit, consider a trip to the Honolulu Botanical Gardens! With five sites on Oahu, you’ll be able to see and learn about the stunning native flowers and plants of Hawaii. Or, if you’re traveling to Hawaii during the humpback whale migratory season, December – May, a whale-watching tour is a one-of-a-kind experience you’ll remember forever. Additionally, farm-to-table restaurants and businesses are a vital part of our economy. Visit Kahuku Farms in North Shore to learn all about some of Hawaii’s finest produce and enjoy local flavors at their delicious café!
Don’t Take, Just Treasure
A common mistake made by tourists is collecting natural souvenirs like shells, rocks, or sand. But these resources are crucial to Oahu’s ecosystem and should remain where they are. Instead, take photographs and leave only footprints.
Wildlife Wonders: Look, Don’t Touch
The Hawaiian Islands are home to unique species both on land and in the sea. While it’s tempting to get that perfect photo touching a sea turtle or feeding a wild bird, this can be harmful to the animals. Observing from a respectful distance is both safe and considerate – especially when dealing with endangered wildlife. It also helps you avoid breaking “kapu,” an ancient code of conduct and taboos. If you stumble across this word or symbol on your visit, do not disturb or enter the area. Our culture is deeply tied to the earth and our resources, so respecting the kapu system is vital when you travel to Hawaii.
Extending our Aloha to Maui
Our ‘ohana extends to all the Hawaiian Islands, including our sisters and brothers in Maui, who now face the long process of rebuilding and restoring their beautiful home. To show your support when you travel, consider donating to the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund, aimed at aiding immediate and long-term recovery efforts.
Our paradise awaits you, but remember, Oahu’s wonder lies in its natural beauty and vibrant community. Your responsible and respectful travel practices can contribute significantly to the islands’ health and prosperity.
The Hawaiian saying, “Mālama ‘āina,” means to, “care for and honor the land.” As you plan your vacation to Oahu, heed this call and make your visit one that enriches the community as much as the island enriches your experience.
When you’re looking for the perfect place to stay on your Oahu vacation, Marina Hawaii Vacations can help you find a vacation rental ideally suited to your family’s needs. Take a look at our available properties, and when you’re ready, you can book your stay directly on this website. We look forward to welcoming you in the spirit of Aloha.