The History of Hawai‘i From Our Files: Finding Balance on Tourism

HONOLULU Magazine emerged from predecessor Paradise of the Pacific, which began in 1888, fulfilling a commission by King Kalākaua. That makes this the oldest continuously published magazine west of the Mississippi, with an enviable archive worth diving into each month. Here’s a look back at April 1927.


From Our Files 1927: Finding Balance on Tourism


Local lawmakers debate the role of tourism, including whether to make a “very considerable appropriation” to what was then called the Hawai‘i Tourist Bureau. Opponents object to using money from taxes to advertise Hawai‘i, opining instead that private transportation companies that profit directly from tourist traffic should pay the publicity bills. Supporters argue that a benefit to tourism is a benefit to all.


Paradise of the Pacific, keen on promoting the wonders of Hawai‘i, does express some concern about modern changes. “However much has been done to advance Twentieth Century civilization with its accompanying materialism the sweet, half melancholy urge of those old days of welcome and hospitality persists and ramifies every department of state, softens and makes wholesome the hearts of all the people here, of whatever race or clime.”


Local legislative leaders are still debating the best use of dollars spent to support tourism through the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority at the State Capitol. And the authority has shifted emphasis to what it’s calling regenerative tourism, defined in part as “empowering the community to have a greater voice in tourism’s future, with an emphasis on restoring the environment, perpetuating the Hawaiian culture, recognizing Hawai‘i’s multiethnic cultures, and supporting responsible economic outcomes.”


Meanwhile, government has expanded nonresident fees at such attractions as Hanauma Bay and Lē‘ahi, or Diamond Head, to help preserve and protect these natural resources for generations to come.


SEE ALSO: Rethinking Hawai‘i How the Visitor Industry Should Operate in the Future


From Our Files Covers April 2022 1024x512


Learn more about the evolution of covers in HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific: 125 Years of Covers, available at



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