Save Hawaii Tourist Attraction

International Market Place

Target: Eric Martinson, President of Queen Emma Land Company

Goal: Revise plans to replace historic landmark with Saks Fifth Avenue

The city of Waikiki has long been a tourist destination known for its mix of high-end designer boutiques and kitschy local-themed souvenirs. These souvenirs are found in the city’s International Market Place, a landmark since 1956 when “Don the Beachcomber” commissioned the Dagger Bar and Bazaar Buildings. Throughout the rest of the fifties, other features of the attraction were created, including the Hawaiian Halau, Japanese Tea House, and giant banyan tree, which remains intact today. However, this landmark could soon be demolished to make room for a Saks Fifth Avenue.

The landowner of the International Market Place, Queen Emma Land Company, has plans to develop a new shopping center anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue. This new center, while it will create hundreds of new jobs and help fund a West Hawaii Queen’s Medical Center, will eliminate the local-themed Market Place merchants, services, and entertainment. This establishment showcased the local spirit and has entertained millions of tourists. When people travel to Hawaii, they want to experience local culture and purchase souvenirs that will remind them of the state and their vacations. While they may enjoy shopping high-end stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, that is not all they desire. Demolishing the International Market Place will negatively impact tourists’ experiences.

Funding a new hospital and providing new jobs is commendable and important to the people of the state. However, providing each tourist with an exceptional experience is also of high importance. Instead of completely demolishing the International Market Place, some of it should be retained. A new, smaller International Market Place can be built beside the Saks Fifth Avenue, meeting the needs of the Queen Emma Land Company, tourists, and existing Market Place merchants and entertainers.

By signing the petition below, you will urge Queen Emma Land Company to revise its plans and retain a portion of the International Market Place.


Dear Eric Martinson,

The desire to help the people of Hawaii by building a Saks Fifth Avenue in order to provide jobs and fund a West Hawaii Queen’s Medical Center is highly commendable. However, demolishing the International Market Place in Waikiki is not the way to do so. International Market Place is a landmark that tourists flock to for local souvenirs and entertainment. It is one of the only shopping locations along the Waikiki strip that offers local-themed items. Demolishing the Market Place would negatively impact and disappoint tourists.

Instead of completely dissolving the Market Place, a portion of it should be retained. Retaining a portion of the Market Place, or building a new, smaller Market Place will still allow a Saks Fifth Avenue to be built, while preserving the landmark. We urge you to consider this option.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: marada via Flickr

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