Isle experts peer
into economic future


By Dave Segal

It seems that every few years something happens to test Hawaii's resolve.

There are the hurricanes, most recently Iwa in 1982 and Iniki in 1992. In the late 1980s, there was the bursting of the Japanese real estate bubble.

Following closely on its heels was the Persian Gulf War and the U.S. recession. In 2001, there was the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.

Now, with another strike against Iraq looming, tourism-dependent Hawaii is faced with another challenge.

But five local experts in areas such as the economy, tourism, real estate and small business recently suggested in a conversation with the Star-Bulletin that the state's repeated experience with disaster will help us in the future.

They also noted, however, that visitor arrivals already have been softening in anticipation of a war and that Japanese tourists have found other alternatives and may not be in any hurry to come back.

How will Hawaii tourism fare if the United States goes to war?

Is the state's burgeoning real estate market headed for another implosion?

Can the new administration change Hawaii's image as an unfriendly business environment?

For their answers, see today's business section.

E-mail to City Desk


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