STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1911-08
RE: S.C.R. No. 52
Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-Fourth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2008
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Tourism & Culture, to which was referred S.C.R. No. 52, H.D. 1, entitled:
"SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND TOURISM AND THE HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY TO IMPLEMENT PROGRAMS TO INCREASE VISITORS FROM TAIWAN, AND REQUESTING THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY TO EXPAND THE VISA WAIVER PROGRAM TO INCLUDE TAIWAN,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this concurrent resolution is to support and diversify Hawaii's visitor industry by requesting:
(1) The Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) and the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) to implement programs to increase visitors from Taiwan; and
(2) The Secretary of Homeland Security to expand the Visa Waiver Program to include Taiwan.
The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Ilima Tours & Transportation, Dragon Tours & Travel, and Aloun Farms supported this measure. DBEDT and HTA submitted comments.
Your Committee notes that the Tourism Liaison testified that they have been working with the federal government on the modernization of the Visa Waiver Program as well as on support for the implementation of federal provisions passed last year that will facilitate the inclusion of Taiwan in the Visa Waiver Program. In addition, HTA has recommended the removal of provisions in this measure that request the implementation of programs to increase visitors from Taiwan. According to HTA, the main impediment to the goal of increased visitor arrivals from Taiwan is the difficulty that potential visitors from Taiwan have in obtaining visas to travel to the United State s. Until this obstacle is addressed, programs to increase visitors from Taiwan will not prove effective.
Therefore, in light of testimony received by your Committee, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Deleting all provisions and references to HTA and the implementation of programs to increase visitors from Taiwan;
(2) Refocusing its purpose by requesting DBEDT to assist and cooperate with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the United States Department of Homeland Security to facilitate the inclusion of Taiwan on the visa waiver list;
(3) Changing its title to read as follows:
"REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND TOURISM TO WORK WITH THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY TO EXPAND THE VISA WAIVER PROGRAM TO INCLUDE TAIWAN"; and
(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for style, clarity, and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Tourism & Culture that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 52, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends its adoption in the form attached hereto as S.C.R. No. 52, H.D. 2.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Tourism & Culture,
RYAN I. YAMANE, Chair