Many popular tourist destinations across the world are experiencing overtourism, which can cause a variety of negative environmental and socio-cultural impacts. As a result, an increasing number of governments are searching for solutions to overtourism. In the United States, Hawaiʻi needs such solutions. Until recently, many legal scholars and other observers believed that restricting tourism may be unconstitutional. However, a careful examination of the United States Supreme Court’s decisions on the Dormant Commerce Clause and the interstate right to travel show that certain restrictions on tourism may be constitutionally permissible. Indeed, recent federal court rulings support state action designed to limit tourism in the interest of sustainability, although sustainability is often a vague concept. Hawaiʻi’s public trust doctrine, which is embedded in the state constitution, establishes that natural and native Hawaiian cultural resources should be conserved and protected for public use. This article presents a variety of policy instruments that could be used individually or in concert to lower tourism levels to conserve and protect the natural and cultural resources and natural beauty that are held in trust by the State of Hawaiʻi for the benefit of its people.

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