The Conversation: Lessons Learned From Hawaii's Tourism Reopening

Nov 19, 2020

UHERO Economist; HIPA CEO; Reality Check: Rail Opening Pushed Back; Oahu Rice History

UHERO Economist

A little more than a month has passed since the state’s soft reopening to tourism, and while daily arrivals are back in the thousands - the industry is far from rebounding.

Concrete data on visitor arrivals and where they’re coming hasn’t been released, but with Covid hotspots breaking out across the country, there’s a renewed worry that even with the pretest program, tourists may be bringing the virus with them, compounding the local community spread.

With a month of lessons behind us, The Conversation’s Harrison Patino spoke to economist Sumner La Croix of The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.


Ben Treviño was recently named the president and CEO of the Hawaii Institute of Public Affairs. Also known as HIPA, the organization is one of Hawaii’s first public policy think tanks, and has published reports on the state of Hawaii’s infrastructure, fisheries and venture capital.

Treviño spoke with The Conversation’s Jason Ubay about his journey to this point, and his vision for the organization.

Reality Check: Rail Opening Pushed Back

Our Reality Check this morning turns our attention to Oahu’s rail project. Surprise, surprise its price tag is rising. A HART finance committee takes up a new budget at its meeting tomorrow Honolulu Civil Beat’s Marcel Honore covers transportation issues and joins us today.

Oahu Rice History

Chinese Historian and author Doug Chong can trace his heritage to rice farmers who lived here on Oahu. One of his books, Ancestral Reflections: Hawaii’s Early Chinese in Waipahu details the rice industry from 1895 to 1935.

Chong shares a forgotten rich history of rice and its contribution to our island economy. Before corn seed, and before sugar was king in Hawaii there was the reign of rice.

Chong is a driving force behind the Hawaii Chinese History Center. His passion drove him  back to mainland China to fill in the gaps to the Chinese rice story here in the islands