With fuel prices up, airfares up, and incomes stagnant if not down, is it any surprise that visitation to national parks on the Hawaiian Islands is down quite a bit this year?
According to National Park Service statistics, not only was traffic to Hawaii's national park units off nearly 11 percent in May, but year-to-date visitation is off more than 7 percent, dropping from 1.9 million through the first five months of 2008 to 1.7 million this year.
The stats show that for this May there were 383,725 visitors to the Hawaiian parks, down 41,483 from 342,242 in 2008.
And while the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor typically is Hawaii's top tourist attraction, visitation is off nearly 13 percent, dropping from 122,788 in May 2008 to 107,203 this past May.
At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, May visitation was off 8.7 percent from the year before, down to 93,725 visitors this year. Haleakala National Park saw a shocking 17.2 percent decrease from 106,353 visitors last year to 88,057 this May.
If there's any upside to these numbers, it's that you might be able to get a pretty good deal on lodging if you can afford to reach Hawaii.