THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

2319

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to TOURISM.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that Hawaii's tourism rates have increased consecutively over the past six years, reaching a record high in 2019 of approximately 10,500,000 visitors. A recent paper published by the University of Hawaii states that the State has hit a so-called "tipping point" of overtourism, as tourists are on the verge of overwhelming the State's resources, damaging the quality of life for residents, and negatively impacting general economic vitality. Visitors no longer exclusively stay in resorts, but instead, due largely in part to the internet, are staying in residential and more remote areas, and engaging in recreational activities in those areas, which were formerly places of refuge for local residents. Certain areas across the State have already attempted to limit the effects of overtourism. For example, the Honolulu City Council has passed bills to ban nearly all commercial activity at certain beach parks; Kauai county is regulating and reducing tourism in specific locations; Maui county has regulated commercial activity in its parks; and the department of land and natural resources has prohibited commercial activity in certain areas. Furthermore, residents in many communities across the State have repeatedly sought restrictions on helicopter tours that generate excessive noise.

Tourism in Hawaii relies on the aloha spirit of our residents. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for residents to be supportive when they are constantly experiencing the effects of overtourism.

The legislature therefore finds that limiting tour vehicle operators and tour aircraft operations from conducting commercial activity on Sunday is a reasonable restriction necessary to offer Hawaii residents a respite from the negative impacts of overtourism.

SECTION 2. Chapter 271, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"271-   Tour vehicle operators; commercial activity; Sunday restriction. (a) It shall be unlawful for any tour vehicle operator to conduct commercial activity on Sunday in any county of the State.

(b) Any tour vehicle operator who violates this section shall be subject to the following penalties:

(1) For a first offense, a fine not to exceed $2,500;

(2) For a second offense, a fine not to exceed $10,000; and

(3) For a third or subsequent offense, a revocation for one year of any certificate, license, or permit issued to the tour vehicle operator by the appropriate county or state agency.

(c) This section shall not restrict a county from adopting a rule or ordinance that establishes additional limitations on the commercial activity of tour vehicle operators at certain times, days, or locations.

(d) For the purposes of this section:

"Commercial activity" means to engage in any action or to attempt to engage in any action for compensation in any form, including but not limited to providing, or attempting to provide, guide services, charters, tours, and transportation to and from the location or locations for which such services are provided.

"Tour vehicle" means any motor carrier regulated under chapter 271. The term does not include any motor vehicle used solely for the purposes of transporting individuals to and from a place of work or a public or private school or of transporting persons with disabilities.

"Tour vehicle operator" means a person who owns, manages, or dispatches tour vehicles."

SECTION 3. Chapter 342F, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part II to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"342F-   Tour aircraft operations; commercial activity; Sunday restriction. (a) It shall be unlawful for any tour aircraft operation to conduct commercial activity on Sunday in any county of the State.

(b) Any tour aircraft operation that violates this section shall be subject to the following penalties:

(1) For a first offense, a fine not to exceed $2,500;

(2) For a second offense, a fine not to exceed $10,000; and

(3) For a third or subsequent offense, a revocation for one year of any certificate, license, or permit issued to the tour aircraft operation by the appropriate county or state agency.

(c) This section shall not restrict a county from adopting a rule or ordinance that establishes additional limitations on the commercial activity of tour aircraft operations at certain times, days, or locations.

(d) For the purposes of this section:

"Commercial activity" means to engage in any action or to attempt to engage in any action for compensation in any form, including but not limited to providing, or attempting to provide, guide services, charters, tours, and transportation to and from the location or locations for which such services are provided.

"Tour aircraft operation" means any business operation that offers aircraft, including helicopters, for hire by passengers for the purpose of aerial observation of landmarks and other manmade or natural sites within an island of the State, and for the purpose of transporting passengers for tourist-related activities."

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.


SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Tourism; Tour Vehicle Operators; Tour Aircraft Operations; Noise Control; Sunday Restriction; Penalties

 

Description:

Prohibits tour vehicle operators and tour aircraft operations from conducting commercial activity on Sunday in any county of the State. Establishes penalties for violations.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.