ABSTRACT

Kīlauea Volcano has attracted visitors to Hawai‘i throughout the history of Hawai‘i’s tourism industry. From the 1870s to the 1910s, Kīlauea offered the experience of using volcanic heat and molten lava to cook food, melt postcards onto cavern walls, enflame items, and obtain souvenirs including scorched postcards, rocks, olivine, and Pele’s hair. Writers shared their experiences in publications, and traveling presentations showed American audiences images of visitors scorching postcards at Kīlauea. Marketing campaigns on the U.S. Mainland promoted Hawai‘i as a tourist destination and promoted cooking with Kīlauea’s heat. In 1907, U.S. Congressmen toured Kīlauea Caldera, ate dinner cooked with Kīlauea’s heat, and learned about Kīlauea’s geodiversity. These experiences likely influenced Congress to establish the Kīlauea, Haleakalā, and Mauna Loa Volcanoes as the Hawaii National Park (now known as the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park). Today, the U.S. National Park Service maintains the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and it offers geological, biological, and cultural resources for recreation and education. For destination marketing, Kīlauea provided Hawai‘i a comparative advantage for tourism.

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