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Tuesday, December 19, 2000

UH using $409,000
grant to study tourist
tendencies, environment

By Russ Lynch

In the coming spring, a group of University of Hawaii students will try to discover just how visitor behavior is affected by the signs they read at Hanauma Bay, Diamond Head and the Manoa Cliffs Trail.

University of Hawaii

Another UH group will be studying the Big Island's Saddle Road, seeing what type of design and management policies could be used to protect the area's ecological, social and cultural resources.

Yet another group under the same program will be working on the environmental impact of visitor and resident use of of Hanauma Bay and Kaneohe Bay.

The studies were made possible by a $409,000 grant in September from the U.S. Department of Education to the School of Travel Industry Management at the UH Manoa campus.

The grant's purpose is to fund projects that relate to the tourism industry and its impact with Hawaii's particular environmental issues.

The TIM school took the Sustainable Tourism and Environmental Program (STEP) program it established last year, the result of a $500,000 gift from a former U.S. ambassador to Australia, Bill Lane, and his wife Jean, and expanded it to STEP-UP, with the "UP" standing for University Partnerships.

The idea is to build the skills of the university students, have them work on tourism-related studies and have them work with businesses and the community to help decide what is best for all.

"STEP-UP helps students help the community and cultivates new approaches to addressing issues and opportunities related to tourism and the environment," said Sam Lankford, the UH professor responsible for coordinating the project.

There will be a lecture on sustainable tourism and what it can mean for Hawaii, open free to the public, at 3 p.m. on Jan. 12 at the UH Manoa Architecture Auditorium by Bernard Lane (no relation to Bill Lane) , director of the rural tourism unit and the architectural conservation program at the University of Bristol, England.

School of Travel Industry Management

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