As the ongoing pandemic is waning and the tourism industry which was put on hold for the past two years is starting to make a strong recovery all across the country. To fully leverage this, the Hawaii tourism authority is planning to spend $14 millions making a trail that would make use of virtual reality and other state of the art technology to connect visitors with attractions.
The Aloha state is planning to put $750,000 out of the pledged 14 million in federal COVID-19 Rescue Plan funds it has to spend for the conception and realization of the trail which in essence is supposed to mimic the famous Boston Freedom Trail. With elements of modern technology, the trail aims to be a fun interactive way to explore the big pineapple city.
“We are about ready to submit the required Grant Administration Plan to EDA for their review and approval. Once approved, we will be able to move forward with the projects, ” says HTA Chief Administrative Officer Keith Regan
Regan also added that the officials have been working to develop a grant administration plan since August.
The news has just broken out and only the start (Capitol district) and the end (Chinatown) of the trail is known but the trail is expected to lock down popular landmarks like Waikiki Beach, Aliʻiolani Hale downtown, Diamond Head, waterfront on Waikīkī Beach and the City Hall.
The Boston Freedom Trail – which serves as an inspiration is a path that stretches 2.5 miles in length in Massachusetts. It consists of 16 locations that are not only important to the history of the state but also to the country.
The official numbers from the Freedom Trail’s website indicate 4 million people visit the trail every year where they get educated on the story of the American Revolution and its consequences. Many museums, churches, meetinghouses, burying grounds etc. serve as a reminder of a tricky past the country has endured.
Regan is looking to replicate this experience with Hawaii.
“If you’ve ever had a chance to walk around downtown Honolulu, you’ll notice that there are some very significant sites that exist and that are important to the history of Hawaii and of Honolulu.
“We felt it would be a great opportunity to develop an urban trail that would lead visitors and, quite frankly, residents on an experience where they can learn about the history of Honolulu, of Hawaii, and at the same time where they can also interact and engage with local businesses along the route.” adds Mr Regan.
There are several other trails in Hawaii, notably Koko Crater Tramway to Koko Head Lookout, Diamond Head (Le’ahi) Summit Trail, Manoa Falls Trail etc are extremely popular among visitors.
Make sure to do a brief research on the specifics before hitting the trails as entering some sights during the trail may not be allowed without reservations. To curb the massive over tourism that is rampaging across Hawaii, several attractions will now require prior bookings. You don’t want to be among the unwary tourists who are showing up without reservations in these sites despite numerous pleas from the authorities, or even getting caught in Hawaii’s unpredictable nature.
The proposed plan is also hoping to encourage more respectful and responsible visitors to the island by implementing a pre-and post-arrival communication program as well as developing similar themed marketing campaigns which attract “positive-impact travelers who prioritize the environment, culture and investing in our local community.”
The trail will also hopefully discourage people risking their lives from other very risky but picturesque trails. The rampant trespassing in these trails is so bad that the government decided to remove the famous ‘Stairway to Heaven’ trai due to safety issues.
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