Despite numerous advance notices of over one months and pleas to make reservations up to 14 days ahead of their trip to the state monument, close to 40% of people who visited the iconic Diamond Head showed up without one as this landmark made its debut with the reservation system to visitors last Thursday morning.
Diamond Head is very popular among tourists with as much as 6000 people showing up to see the volcanic formation in its glory. The new reservation system is supposed to limit this number as well as spread the traffic from popular times from 6 to 10 AM.
“We hope to level the number of people who come throughout the day, especially during the peak hours between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.” said Cassandra Springer, Park Interpreter at the Diamond Head
This new system which uses a QR code instead of cash or card at point of sale also makes the lives of the visitors simpler as there was a big uncertainty regarding the occupancy of the parking lot as many visitors would be turned away. Now the people with reservations can simply verify their QR codes and gain an entry.
The system was put in place to tackle the expected over-tourism that is set to grip the islands’ state during this summer. Which comes in at a time when Hawaii is struggling with over-tourism and hurting locals with the state already considered to be the most expensive to live in, in the whole United States.
The expectations of the reservation system is that not only it would decrease the amount of tourists that are set to visit, but also guarantee that locals can visit without crowds and also to spread the visitations more evenly throughout the day, as peaks of visiting hours throughout the day would see massive traffic jams and even congestion on the hiking trails.
The Aloha state is no stranger to the sheer number and ignorance of some of the tourists that visit its beautiful islands. Some of the places are of huge sentimental and emotional value to the local residents which the tourists are simply unaware of or do not treat with enough respect. Recently, the Waipio Valley, also called The Valley of Kings, was closed indefinitely over the worries of mass tourism.
Among other popular acts of ignorance, many TikTokers and other social media users are found trespassing off the charts and dangerous ‘stairway to heaven’ mountain trails. The problem got so much worse that the state council is contemplating removing the stairs completely.
The site is also very popular among thrill and attention seekers. Last year, the authorities had to remove the illegal ‘Trump 2021’ banner from the side of Diamond Head.
It is understandable the rush to see Diamond Head, it is one of the most iconic landmarks in the state, dominated by absolute natural beauty. Full of hiking options around its circumference leading all the way to the top, where it opens to a lovely all encompassing perspective on Waikiki, a neighborhood of Honolulu on the south shore of the island of Oahu and the actual hole fills in as a wonderful setting for vacationers partaking in the sea shores.
Now that full blown tourism makes reappearance in Hawaii, concerned locals are voicing their opinions and urging visitors to visit the islands responsibly. Ignorance can be costly as the locals grow increasingly agitated with the lack of care and respect from visitors and the state may take more radical decisions like making the sites entirely off limits to travelers. When visiting Hawaii’s iconic places, remember to be responsible, follow the regulations and help protect the cultural and environmental heritage.
To make a reservation at the Diamond Head State Monument, click here.
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