Hawaii is mulling their own version of travel or resort fees.
The state wants tourists to help pay for paradise, especially because growing numbers are traveling to the islands to enjoy the beauty of its outdoors.
It costs money to repair coral reefs after boats run aground, shielding native forest trees from a killer fungus outbreak and patrolling waters for swimmers harassing dolphins and turtles.
Up for discussion among lawmakers is requiring tourists to pay for a yearlong license or pass to visit state parks and trails.
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Also up for debate is what to charge.
Governor Josh Green campaigned last year on a platform of having all tourists pay a $50 fee to enter the state.
Legislators think this would violate U.S. constitutional protections for free travel and have promoted their parks and trails approach instead.
Either policy would be a first of its kind for any U.S. state.
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However, it wouldn’t be unique to other tourist sites around the globe.
Fees and taxes have been imposed in Venice, Italy, and Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands.
The Pacific island nation of Palau, for example, charges arriving international passengers $100 to help it manage a sprawling marine sanctuary and promote ecotourism.
State Rep. Sean Quinlan, a Democrat who chairs the House Tourism Committee, said changing traveler patterns are one reason behind Hawaii’s push. He said golf rounds per visitor per day have declined 30% over the past decade while hiking has increased 50%.
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People are also seeking out once-obscure sites that they’ve seen someone post on social media.
Residents with a Hawaii driver’s license or other state identification would be exempt.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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