Waipio Valley Road on the Island of Hawaii Closed to Visitors Indefinitely, Effective February 25
For Immediate Release: February 25, 2022
HTA Release (22-06)
Island of Hawaii – Today, the County of Hawaii issued an Emergency Rule announcing the closure of Waipio Valley Road to visitors as a precautionary safety measure and to further assess and mitigate the road’s conditions, effective Friday, February 25, 2022.
To limit vehicular traffic, the road remains open to Waipio Valley residents, farmers, property owners and lease holders with agricultural businesses in the Valley only. The decision is based on recommendations provided in a geotechnical assessment done on Waipio Valley Road, which outlines the immediate need to mitigate rockfall and address slope instability and erosion, for everyone’s safety.
“The Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau (IHVB) fully supports the County of Hawaii’s decision to close Waipio Valley Road to visitors until further notice,” said Ross Birch, Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau executive director. “Understanding the community’s concerns about tourism’s impacts on this sacred and culturally significant place, we have not promoted traversing into the Valley for more than a decade now. We are distributing this update widely to our visitors and network of industry partners both here on-island and across the globe.”
Birch continued, “This road closure supports and accelerates our destination management efforts to address tourism issues surrounding Waipio Valley, which was deemed a hotspot by the community as outlined in Hawaii Island’s Destination Management Action Plan. We continue to do all we can to steer the direction of tourism for our island with the community’s well-being top of mind.”
Read the County of Hawaii Emergency Rule at https://www.hawaiicounty.gov/Home/Components/News/News/3094/720.
For more information on the report, visit https://www.dpw.hawaiicounty.gov/about-public-works/roadwork-information.
About the Destination Management Action Plan
In partnership with the counties and the respective visitor bureaus, HTA developed community-based Destination Management Action Plans (DMAPs) that aim to rebuild, redefine and reset the direction of tourism over a three-year period. The focus is on stabilization, recovery and rebuilding to the desired visitor industry for each island. The actions put forth in the DMAPs are guided by an island-based Steering Committee for each island, and includes a collaborative process which encourages participation and vital input from the community, visitor industry and other sectors. The DMAPs identify areas of need as well as actionable solutions for enhancing the residents’ quality of life and improving the visitor experience across the islands. View Hawaii Island’s Destination Management Action Plan at https://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/media/7040/hta-hawaii-island-action-plan.pdf.
About the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau
The Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau (IHVB) is an island chapter of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB). HVCB is contracted by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) for destination marketing in the continental U.S. IHVB supports our international marketing partners in Canada, Japan, China, South Korea and Oceania; and collaborates with island partners — government, hospitality and other industries — and the community to implement the island’s Destination Management Action Plan (DMAP). For more information, visit www.gohawaii.com/island-of-hawaii.
Be safe, responsible and mindful while enjoying and exploring the island of Hawaii. Please read, sign and share the Pono Pledge and encourage others to do the same. #PonoPledge