HTA’s Destination Management Action Plan supports the Lē'ahi Reservations System

Sponsored by Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority

HONOLULU (HI Now) - The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) is proud to collaborate with the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of State Parks (DSP) on the Lēʻahi Reservations System at Diamond Head (Lēʻahi) State Monument. This new program will further manage Hawaiʻi’s natural resources and prioritize Hawaiʻi’s people and place.

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s direction toward sustainable and regenerative tourism, along with the community’s voice through the Oʻahu DMAP sub-actions, identified this area of need located in a high-trafficked urban neighborhood. The reservation system is an example of how tourism can be better managed so that both residents and the destination can thrive.

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority through statewide partnerships continue to ulu and hoʻoulu (grow) relationships between the industry and Hawaiʻi’s people as well as people to place. The HTA worked with its global marketing team and extensive industry network to inform people about the significant change to visiting this iconic place on Oʻahu. Diamond Head (Lēʻahi ) State Monument is the third park in the Hawai’i State Park system to require advanced reservations for out-of-state visitors. Hawaiʻi residents will continue to enjoy free access without reservations, but entry may depend on parking availability.

Prior to the pandemic, during the 2019 winter holiday period, the park had a record visitation day of over 6,000 people. The reservation system is intended to reduce hiker congestion, the load on the comfort station, and vehicle congestion entering and exiting the sole access tunnel. It is hoped this significant change also will reduce parking issues in urban neighborhoods outside of Mt. Lēʻahi.

The DSP goal is to improve the quality of the experience by reducing access during the more popular and currently congested morning time period and have visitors select the less crowded afternoon slots. It’s recommended visitors plan their hikes in advance as reservations may be made up to 30 days in advance. The system will rely upon QR codes to confirm reservations and will eliminate the exchange of cash at the entrance, reducing the time it takes to enter Diamond Head (Lēʻahi) State Monument.

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority will continue to work with the state and identify other possible locations in which visitor numbers may be mitigated and managed. To learn more about HTA and its community-driven programs, please visit hawaiitourismauthority.org.