Oahu Ihilani resort
Oahu Ihilani resort (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hawaii’s entertainment industry relies heavily on the performance of luxurious resorts and heavy traffic to the state’s renowned exotic beaches and island atmosphere. Recently, hospitality professionals in the 50th state have been dealing with various threats to the thriving resort trade. Many companies are seeking new solutions from nontraditional sources, such as students of resort management at Hawaii online universities.

One major threat to the livelihood of Hawaii’s resort industries is rising tides eating away at the beach space available to tourists. A New York Times article from May 2012 discusses a United States Geological Survey report indicating that 9 percent of the beachfront property on the islands of Maui, Oahu and Hawaii have disappeared underwater over the previous century. This figure represents 14 miles of sandy beach that are now covered with ocean.

Hawaii suffers both from rising sea levels and volcanic activity that contribute to this accelerated sinking effect on the state’s beaches. Although ocean levels are rising near Hawaii, they’re actually rising at a slower rate than other oceanic regions across Earth. Most of the sinking comes from the tectonic and volcanic activity that actually created each of the islands. Most of Hawaii’s main islands no longer experience volcanic eruptions that bring magma and other material that create land.

Some Hawaii hotel and resort properties are still viable. A Bloomberg News article from May 2012 reports on value fluctuations for major corporations in Hawaii’s resort entertainment industry. One chain, Kyo-ya Hotels, experienced a dramatic drop in its corporate appraisal from $2.7 billion in 2006 to $1.8 billion in 2012. However, the chain has doubled its cash flow since 2009.

Hawaii is still getting plenty of visitors. Tourism forecasts for 2012 predict a 17 percent increase in international travelers and a 4.3 percent increase in visitors from the continental U.S. Well-educated resort management professionals are required to satisfy the entertainment needs exacerbated by these high tourist levels.

For state residents interested in pursuing an education in resort management, there are 11 state colleges with an annual tuition rates under $6,000 according to college data resource College Stats.org. One of these schools, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, offers a dedicated School of Travel Industry Management for resort professionals. Out of state residents may be able to benefit from online courses from Hawaii schools in resort management.

These changing times are proving to be difficult for Hawaii’s resorts. Thousands are still drawn each year by the idea of the island’s tropical paradise. As long as people will come, there will continue to be valuable work available in entertainment.

Bring the Beach Back to College 1

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