Posts Tagged With: oahu
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Listed as a National Natural Landmark, the iconic Lē‘ahi – Diamond Head State Monument (DHSM), is the third park unit in the Hawai‘i State Park system to require advanced reservations for out-of-state visitors, beginning on May 12, 2022. Hawai‘i residents continue to enjoy free access without reservations, but entry may depend on parking availability.
On Kaua‘i, at Hā‘ena State Park, and on Maui at Waiʻānapanapa State Park, reservation systems are already in place.
Diamond Head is one of the most sought-after and visited attractions in Hawai‘i. Prior to the pandemic, during the 2019 winter holiday period, the park had a record visitation day of over 6,000 people. The new reservation system is intended to reduce hiker congestion along the narrow and winding trail to the summit, reduce the load on the comfort station and reduce vehicle congestion entering and exiting the sole access tunnel at Diamond Head. The DLNR Division of State Parks (DSP) hopes to also reduce parking issues in urban neighborhoods outside of Diamond Head.
The DSP goal is to improve the quality of the experience by reducing access during the more popular and currently congested morning time period and have patrons select the less crowded afternoon slots if they must hike on a particular day. Otherwise, as with any capacity-based reservation system, they must select another day. Visitors will need to plan their hikes in advance.
In 2020, DSP increased fees from one dollar for walk-ins and five dollars for vehicles to ten dollars for parking and five dollars per person for entry.
The system will rely upon QR codes to confirm reservations and will eliminate the exchange of cash at the entrance, reducing the time it takes to enter Diamond Head. When activated on April 28, the system will allow for reservations beginning 14 days into the future. After May 12, out-of-state visitors will not be allowed to enter without an advanced reservation. In addition, commercial tour and trolley patrons will have to have reservations.
Kevin Wilmore is the Vice President/General Manager of Blue Sky Tours, a leader in tourism to the Hawaiian islands. Before holding his current position, Mr. Wilmore was the Director of Analysis and Planning at Blue Sky Tours. Before joining Blue Sky Tours, he held the position of Director of Destination Experience at The Mark Travel Corporation.
TRO: As a company that specializes only in Hawaiian packages, has Blue Sky Tours been affected by the recent natural disasters caused by the earthquakes in Japan?
KW: The Big Island of Hawaii was the most affected, and it was minimal damage along the Kona coast with a few properties taking on water due to the tsunami wave surge. They are handling everything very well and repair efforts continue around the clock. Blue Sky Tours helped relocate our passengers with minimal effort. Everyone was very well taken care of and the people were grateful that the island had very little damage.
To see and really know the Islands of Hawaii takes a minimum of six trips, one for each island. I for one would be willing to make that kind of commitment. But each island in Hawaii is a world of its own, and each deserves a leisurely pace, an opportunity to get to know it up close and personal. Far too many visitors to the islands make the mistake of trying to see and do every island in a week, bouncing around Read the rest of this entry »