Support the Film/Tourism Industry
The filming of "Temptation Island" on Maui was postponed last week by Mayor Mike Victorino, who wanted more time to evaluate the proposal.
The month-long production at the Andaz Maui would have generated at least $7.5 million in spending, brought maybe a hundred visiting cast and crew, and employed another hundred local people, not including hotel workers- in little less than two months. Filming was to take place at the Andaz, with everyone following at least three weeks of strict testing, quarantine, and isolation protocols established by the state and county governments, as well as the national film industry, in order to protect both the crew and public.
In the wake of the postponement, Mayor Victorino said he will form a committee to guide restarting film production, which at the very least will involve affected businesses and other stakeholders in providing input for pandemic response decision-making.
This was - we hope - only a temporary setback to our recovery, because it serves as an example of the synergy between tourism and related industries, of which film and television production has become a mainstay. This one production would have enabled one hotel to recover some of its lost business, provided jobs for local film technicians and hotel workers, and stimulated spending in our economy—all within a safe and strictly enforced bubble. We can do more to encourage this type of economy activity, which meets all the standards for a safe working environment, especially for the affected employees.
We believe resuming film and TV production in the islands, following public health protocols and standards, is one way to provide some measure of hope for our economic recovery. As I have long maintained hearkening back to my days as the state director of DBEDT, this is also a way to draw upon our core competence of our tourism-dominant economy by supporting other industries that complement tourism, create jobs, and showcase the beauty and natural resources of the Hawaiian Islands to a global audience.
More film and television series like "Hawaii 5-0" and "Magnum P.I." are exactly what we need to seek and support during these very challenging economic times. A successful launch of "Temptation Island" on the Valley Isle could spark additional interest of other series being filmed and produced throughout our state. We urge our elected officials and the community to support this initiative.
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