Ban Damage: HI Tourism
The Aloha State Is Now Less Welcoming to Smokers
Smoking ban’s effect on bars needs study
3/17/08? THE ISSUE
A report commissioned by the state has concluded that restrictions on smoking have not hurt the visitor industry.
Bar owners have complained that a state smoking ban that was extended to their establishments in late 2006 has been bad for business. A report by the state Department of Health maintains that it has not hurt Hawaii’s visitor industry but has failed to address the bar owners’ concerns. A more precise study is needed.
A report prepared for the department by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., found that the food and beverage sector of Hawaii’s tourism industry gained 212 more employees and 1,541 jobs since the law went into effect. It also said the state’s overall visitor spending, including that by visitors from Japan, was comparable last year to the previous year, although declining slightly.
Unfortunately, the report does not include data from the Honolulu Liquor Commission because it did not fall within the time period needed to evaluate the law’s effect. The Health Department should examine Liquor Commission data at the earliest opportunity to determine the ban’s effect.
In a legislative hearing in January, bar owners contended that the ban has cost them revenue. One said the no-smoking law has cut his business in half, resulting in a $65,000 loss last year. Bar owners have sought an entire exemption from the ban.
The health risk caused by secondhand smoke justifies a ban, although the Hawaii law is too broad by including open-air sections, where secondhand smoke poses little or no risk.
Hawaii tells Japan: ‘OK to smoke’
Hawaii Tourism Japan, which markets the islands in Japan, says the move is vital as many Japanese tourists wrongly think Hawaii has a blanket smoking ban.
HONOLULU — A state-backed marketing campaign to reassure Japanese tourists that they can smoke in Hawaii has left one tobacco opponent smoldering.
“We shouldn’t give the message that aloha means smoking,” said Kathy Harty, interim president of the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii.
The Smoking with Aloha marketing campaign by Hawaii Tourism Japan includes the distribution of portable ashtrays with a flower logo and the words “Keep Hawaii Clean.”
“Japanese believe that Hawaii is smoke-free, and Hawaii bookings, especially for the group market, have suffered,” said Yumi Ozaki, local director for Hawaii Tourism Japan, which has the state contract to market Hawaii travel in Japan.
Hawaii Tourism Japan, which markets Hawaii tourism in Japan, is trying to educate Japanese about the Smoke-Free Hawaii law that went into effect in December. Among other things, it prohibits smoking in restaurants, bars and public buildings. But it does not ban all smoking.
Some travel industry professionals and tourists have blamed the law, in part, for Hawaii’s depressed Japanese visitor market.
The use of the term “smoke-free” might be sending an incorrect message that the state is tougher on smokers than other destinations, according to Dave Erdman, president of PacRim Marketing, a firm specializing in Asian markets.
State Tourism Liaison Marsha Wienert said an inaccurate news account of the law last year in Japan led many Japanese tourists to be confused about the legislation.
It is too soon to tell if the marketing campaign, which began in June, will help increase tourism from Japan, she said.
The ashtrays, some 40,000 of which were made at a cost of about $1 each, are being disseminated mainly by Japanese travel agents and wholesalers to smoking clients.
“It’s very unfortunate that they chose to go that route,” Harty said. “Why don’t they give nonsmokers who chose to come here a lei? This is not really sending a message that Hawaii is concerned about good health.” (AP)
“The whistle got blown this winter when a survey independent of the tobacco companies or the paid anti-smoking groups was done on what the owners and managers know first hand about the impact that the anti-smoking groups lied about for two months. This is the reality for bars. This is just part of the list due to size the limit.
Porky’s Down 50% Kathy Wants Ban Removed
Kailua Palace Down 50% Roy Wants Ban Removed
Ohana Lounge Down 90% Cory Wants Ban Removed
Tiares Down 30-40% Sophia Wants Ban Removed
Whitneys Down 45% Chae Wants Ban Removed
Ohana Lounge Down 70% Cory Wants Ban Removed
Komo Mai’s Down 50% Ann Wants Ban Removed
Flamingo’s Down 20% Angela Wants Ban Removed
Whittney Down 40% Mike Wants Ban Removed
Rock Rose Tavern Down 20% Niko Wants Ban Removed
Rosa’s Ice Tee Down 50% Ice Wants Ban Removed
Panama Hattie Down 30% Larry Wants Ban Removed
Top Hat Down 25% John Wants Ban Removed
Club Bunny girls Down 50% Young Wants Ban Removed
Club Marie Down 50% Marie Wants Ban Removed
Baijo’s Down 35% Me Chan Wants Ban Removed
Old Kemoo Pub Down 15% Jake Wants Ban Removed
Hui Ohana’s Down 50% Clay Wants Ban Removed
Mel Rose Down 20% Rosie Wants Ban Removed
Leeward Bowl Down 25% Richard Wants Ban Removed
Sunflower Down 10% Yong Likes the Ban
Club Chance Down 50% Per Owner Wants Ban Removed
Club Festival Down 50% Soo Yoong Wants Ban Removed
Diamond Castle Down 50% Per Owner Wants Ban Removed
Red Carnation Down 30% Per Owner Wants Ban Removed
Club Join Us Down 40% Candi Wants Ban Removed
Club Electro No Change Per Owner Doesn’t Care
Ting’s Down 50 % Ting Wants Ban Removed
Oasis Lounge Down 30% Kathy Wants Ban Removed
Club House Down 50% Su Gen Wants Ban Removed
Club Sahara Down 50% Per Owner Wants Ban Removed
Lagoon 500 Down 25% Sonya Wants Ban Removed
Club C&R; Down 50% Per Owner Wants Ban Removed
Caf? Bronco Down 10% Akiko Wants Ban Removed
Imperial Lounge Down 50% Linda Wants Ban Removed
Club Soo Mi Down 30% Soo Mi Wants Ban Removed
Club Pieces Down 40% Diane Wants Ban Removed
Linda’s Karaoke Down 20% Linda Wants Ban Removed
Club All In Down 40-50% Uni Wants Ban Removed
Club Jihae Down 40% Jihae Wants Ban Removed
Club Monabi Down 40% Mona Wants Ban Removed
Shinsotei No Change Helen Likes the Ban
Yuraku Cho Down 20% Harry Wants Ban Removed
Paul & Terry’s Down 25% Paul Wants Ban Removed
Club Tahoe No Change Jay Wants Ban Removed
Club New Bangkok Down 50% At Wants Ban Removed
Club Sundance Down 25% Kim Sa Wants ban Removed
Club Hibiscus Down 30% Bobby Wants Ban Removed
Ward Room Down 25% Miki Wants Ban Removed
Cafe Duck Butt Down 30-40% Jenny Wants Ban Removed
Just One Down 35% Andy Wants Ban Removed
Club 7 Kings Down 50% Pat Wants Ban Removed
Twenty Ten Down 50% Stacey Wants Ban Removed
King St Caf? Down 10% Per Manager Doesn’t Care
Pig Skins Down 40% Lance Wants Ban Removed
Crystal Palace Down 25% Joe Wants Ban Removed
Club Secret Down 50% Per Owner Wants Ban Removed
Club Romantei Down 45% Danny Wants Ban Removed
Anna Banana’s Down 20% Tim Wants Ban Removed
Sand Island Bar Down 30% Tonie Wants Ban Removed
J’s Sports Bar No Change Likes the Ban
Club Genji Down 15% Wants Ban Removed
Aku Bones Down 10% Kim Wants Ban Removed
Amy’s Place Down 25% Amy Wants Ban Removed
Ke Kais Down 20% Pat Wants Ban Removed
New Hanahou Down 55% Youn Wants Ban Removed
Gold Gate Lounge Down 25% Michelle Wants Ban Removed
Blue Sea Lounge Down 10% Lee Wants Ban Removed
Cache Down 25% Yvette Wants Ban Removed
Club Velvet Down 50 % Valerie Wants Ban Removed
Cheer’s Karaoke Down 10% JohnsonWants Ban Removed
“85% have lost business or oppose the ban. The average loss is 32%.
Many are braking the law just to stop the pain now with illegal seating or smoking inside. Just another warning sign about the delayed effect on tourism. I wouldn’t come here.
Thank You and Mahalo “
HONOLULU, Hawaii – Mar. 12? — According to Travel Hawaii LLC, Hawaii’s tourism industry is in a slump, with overall January arrivals down nearly 6 percent from January 2006 and the lucrative Japanese market down over 12 percent. The decline comes on the heels of Hawaii’s strict new smoking ban, which went into effect in November, and some in the tourism industry wonder whether the smoking ban is chasing away a good portion of Hawaii’s traditional clientele.
Founded in 1997 by computer scientist John Lindelow and travel agency owner Roz Rapozo, Travel Hawaii has become a leading Internet booking service for consumers wishing to vacation in Hawaii. Travel Hawaii maintains sophisticated online booking systems and databases focused on Hawaii travel.
By JESSE McKINLEY