The Office of Maunakea Management (OMKM) will conduct a study on the public and commercial tour capacity for University of Hawaiʻi-managed land on Maunakea. Daniel Spencer, a professor of tourism management at the UH Mānoa School of Travel Industry Management, will lead the project.
The study is the result of increased usage of the Visitor Information Station and Mauna Kea Science Reserve for sunrise and sunset viewing, sightseeing, educational programs, hiking and other purposes leading to concerns about impacts on the natural, cultural and scientific resources on UH-managed lands.
Current visitor volume, characteristics and demographics, and impacts, including by commercial tour operations, will be evaluated.
“The new Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road) has made the road safe, easy to drive and now provides easy access to Maunakea and increased visitations, many of which are visitors from outside Hawaiʻi,” said OMKM Director Stephanie Nagata. “This study will help determine impacts from visitors and commercial tour operations so we can develop appropriate management strategies.”