Grin and bear shots at Hawaii's tourism


POSTED: Monday, March 16, 2009

THE old marketing adage than any publicity is good publicity does not sit well with Lt. Gov. James “;Duke”; Aiona, who is complaining about a “;Saturday Night Live”; skit that was not very complimentary about Hawaii's tourism. It was quickly offset by a poll ranking Hawaii as the country's second-happiest state in the country. Paradise comes out ahead once again.

The less-than-hilarious skit portrayed two underpaid guys in grass skirts dancing and singing from one table to the next in a restaurant, complaining about their plight and being rude to diners. Aiona said it “;went too far in its negative depiction of Hawaii's native people and tourism industry.”;

While Aiona was preparing a letter of objection to the program's executive producer, a new poll conducted by Gallup in partnership with Healthways and America's Health Insurance Plans rated Hawaii behind only Utah in mental, physical and economic health.

The rating was based on surveys of 350,000 people around the country about life evaluation, healthy behaviors, work environment, physical and emotional health and access to basic necessities. They were asked such things as whether they smiled or laughed a lot yesterday, were they satisfied with their jobs, did they eat healthy all yesterday and did they feel safe walking at night.

“;Wild and wonderful”; West Virginia, which bills itself as “;a land of rich heritage, unparalleled beauty and warm hospitality”; with “;friendly cities full of fun and nightlife,”; was ranked last in the poll, which was largely ignored in the state's media. Mountain State politicians had the good sense to be mum about it.