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Published on : Monday, November 25, 2013
Kailua is a town on the island of Oahu, where President Barack Obama grew up. It is known for its white sandy beaches. However, a neighborhood board in the town is asking tourists to keep away.
Residents complain, “The US president’s favorite Christmas holiday spot has been blighted by the “Obama effect”.
The story of visitors not being welcomed to the Hawaii town of Kailua is making headlines worldwide.
The Kailua neighborhood association is upset with bed and breakfast rentals that are leased for short-term rentals but without permits. The association says that rental arrangement through services like Air B&B have depleted the supply of housing and made rentals more expensive.
Marten’s emotions are held by other Kailua residents, who have said they do not like having a revolving door of new neighbors coming in constantly.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority estimates that there are around 500 rentals for overnight stays in Kailua but only 65 have permits. Other locals are mad that Whole Foods and other chains opened up a store in an attempt to capitalize on the tourism boom. With the raise in tourists and more businesses, a residents’ advisory board has said the average home price increased to just under $800,000.
A board member with the Hawaii Vacation Rental Owners Association, Angie Larson, said that tourists help the local economy.
The neighborhood board passed a resolution to ”stop promoting Kailua as a tourist destination and alternative to Waikiki,” In September.