essay #5 - Cheri Lehr Kyle Kikugawa Valerie Henderson...

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Cheri Lehr Kyle Kikugawa Valerie Henderson Modern Misconceptions of Contemporary Hawaiian Culture When first meeting, our group had a difficult time finding a common interest to base our research on. We all have very different perspectives regarding issues surrounding Hawaii and the tourism industry. One thing that we had all observed or experienced in one way or another was that there are shocking misconceptions of how Hawaiian life is, flames that are fanned by the advertisement industry, who sell these misconceptions deliberately. When perusing any travel magazine, we often encountered articles and advertisements offering Hawaii as an “escape from reality” and as a place where worries simply don’t exist. The notion is ridiculous, and yet those descriptions sell condos, houses, hotel rooms, or whatever they are peddling. The true fact is, as of 2004, 10.5 percent of Hawaiian residents were living in poverty. In 2000, 15.4 percent of people over the age of twenty-five did not have a high school diploma, according to the Economic Research Service. The average per capita income in Hawaii is a mere $34,489, while the average single-family home runs at $590,000. Two of our group members recently moved here from the mainland, and so they provided a perspective that could include expectations that weren’t met during their move. The third member of our group has lived here for many years, and so his interests lie more in the local perspective of how these fallacies affect the morale and daily lives of Hawaiian residents. After all, with 5 million tourists coming through the island of Oahu alone each year, tourists are permanent parts of our lives. The faces change, but the problems that they bring remain the same. Our goal in writing this paper is to show that the advertisement industry promotes and perpetuates misconceptions regarding contemporary life in Hawaii.
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Cheri Lehr Kyle Kikugawa Valerie Henderson Tourism has been prominent in Hawai’i has been a long and sometimes painful struggle between the “haoles,” the foreigners, and the native Hawaiian people. Tourism to Hawai’i increased exponentially in the twentieth century in the 1860s with an influx of visitors from the United States mainland and Japan. This was the birth of modern tourism to Hawai’i. The first tourist hotel was built in 1865-a grass Volcano House built on the Halemaumau Crater rim to shelter visitors. A second important and major boost to tourism was the demise of the plantation era in Hawai’i (us50). As Frommers states, “In 1901 W.C. Peacock built the elegant Beaux Arts Moana Hotel on Waikiki Beach, and W.C. Weedon convinced Honolulu businessmen…to advertise Hawai’i in San Francisco…[He headed for the mainland with] tinted photos of Waikiki…for six months of lecture tours to introuduce ‘those remarkable people and the beautiful lands of Hawai’I.’” In 1903, a Tourism Bureau was created and in that year alone, 2,200 people came to Hawai’i as
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essay #5 - Cheri Lehr Kyle Kikugawa Valerie Henderson...

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