Video Message From 
HTA President and CEO John De Fries
In this month’s e-bulletin, President & CEO John De Fries recaps the results of the Spring 2022 Resident Sentiment Survey, showing strong support for HTA’s efforts in destination management and visitor education; visitor statistics from July 2022 that showed, compared to pre-pandemic July 2019, 14% more visitor spending with 8% fewer visitors; and the amazing performance of the new Little League World Series Champions from Hawaiʻi, serving as ambassadors we can all be proud of.
Save the Date — 2022 Hawai‘i Tourism Conference 

Continuing its commitment to Mālama Ku‘u Home (“Caring for My Beloved Home”), the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority will present its 2022 Hawai‘i Tourism Conference at the Hawai‘i Convention Center this winter. The two-day event will be held on Thursday, December 8 and Friday, December 9. Stay tuned for more information in the months ahead.
Celebrating Their Years of Service

Ho‘omaika‘i to two from our Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) ‘ohana for recently reaching milestone years of service with the State of Hawai‘i. Marc Togashi, HTA acting chief administrative officer and vice president, finance, celebrated 10 years of service. Minh-Chau Chun, tourism research manager with the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), celebrated 20 years of service. Marc and Minh were recognized alongside their colleagues during DBEDT’s Service Awards Ceremony on July 19. Their continued contributions and tenure are a testimony of their hard work and dedication to the people of Hawai‘i. Please join us in congratulating Marc and Minh!
Aloha ‘Āina Project: ‘Ele‘ele Endangered Wildlife Mural Unveiled on Kaua‘i 

In July, Kaua‘i muralist Seth Womble put the finishing touches on his 1,300-square-foot endangered wildlife mural, located alongside Kaumuali‘i Highway in ‘Ele‘ele. His vision for the mural is educating the public about endangered Hawai‘i birds such as the ‘a‘o (Newell’s shearwater), ae‘o (Hawaiian stilt), and koloa Maoli (Hawaiian duck), and communicating the importance of being good stewards of the land and its wildlife. Seth’s work was recently featured in Kaua‘i’s The Garden Island newspaper. HTA is proud to support this project through the Garden Island Arts Council and its own Aloha ‘Āina program to reinvest funding back into the community.
Aloha ‘Āina Project: The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i 

The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i’s Aloha ‘Āina, Mauka to Makai program focuses on the makai areas of Mānele and Hulopo‘e on Lāna‘i and Maui’s Honolua Bay, as well as mauka at Waikamoi Preserve, heart of the largest inactive native rainforest in the state and sanctuary for hundreds of native Hawaiian plants and animals. The program’s activities include data collection informing policy and sustainable tourism, educational programming about native forest and ocean ecosystems, and volunteer and outreach programs, including docent training, service trips, monthly hikes and presentations. Learn more here.
In early August, staff from HTA and the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation (HCF) visited Maui to engage with Aloha ʻĀina awardee Hawaiʻi Land Trust (HILT) and the important work it continues to do on the ground. The group visited Waiheʻe Refuge, which was once populated by two thriving coastal villages, an extensive loko iʻa kalo, and several heiau. HILT is continuing restoration of the Waiheʻe and providing extended opportunities for kānaka, kamaʻāina and malihini to see, learn and grow with this wahi kupuna.

“To me, it is another great example of the ingenuity of our kūpuna — a modern-day aquaponics system established over 1,500 years ago,” said HCF Program Officer Kehau Meyers, who helps manage HTA’s Kūkulu Ola and Aloha ʻĀina programs. “When we make investments in protecting, restoring and researching the cultural and ecological foundations of Hawaiʻi, we are gifted with so many solutions to modern-day issues in return, including the ensuing problems of climate change.”

HTA Brand Manager Maka Casson-Fisher, who also helps oversee HTA’s Kūkulu Ola and Aloha ʻĀina programs, shared his experience at Waihe‘e as a kamaʻāina of Hawaiʻi who is still a malihini to this ʻāina.

“I’m not from Maui, but after meeting with the folks who hosted us, I became more familiar with the ʻāina and community, which reminded me of the ʻōlelo noʻeau, ‘Hoʻokahi lā o ka malihini a lilo i hoa kamaʻāina.’”

This ʻōlelo noʻeau suggests that visitors become contributing members of the local community after a day of being welcomed, and that they, too, have responsibilities to uphold. For Maka, that kuleana is in the work he does at HTA.
Other Aloha ʻĀina program partner visits by the group included nonprofit Hui Aloha Kīholo on Hawaiʻi Island in June. The Aloha ʻĀina program’s award here supports Hui Aloha Kīholo’s project, Mōhala i ka Wai: Empowering Our Community to Support a Thriving Kīholo to Increase the Ability to Connect with Visitors of the Kīholo State Park Reserve. It also strives to improve the health of the area’s natural resources.
The Kohala Center’s (TKC) Aloha ʻĀina Kahaluʻu was another Aloha ʻĀina program recently visited by HTA and HCF staff. An independent community-based center for research, conservation and education, TKC is providing increased visitor education allowing for pono (balanced, respectful) access and exposure to Kahalu‘u bay and ʻāina before visitors arrive there. TKC and the Kahaluʻu community were recently recognized by international nonprofit Mission Blue, which identified Kahalu‘u Bay as one of its Hope Spots — places scientifically identified as critical to the health of the ocean — and Cindi Punihaole, director of TKC’s Kahaluʻu Bay Education Center, as a Hope Spot Champion.
The Kohala Center also welcomed HTA and HCF staff to Niuliʻi, a traditional community gathering place known for its ancient ulu hala (pandanus groves), coastal native forest and shoreline marine resources. The group was guided around the hala groves and heard moʻolelo on the many uses of lauhala, the stages of its growth, and the reciprocal relationship between the ʻāina, stewards and learners of the wahi pana.
Laʻiʻōpua is an Aloha ʻĀina awardee offering “Ola ka Lāhui” (“The Nation Lives On”) events. Here, HTA and HCF staff experienced cultural workshops available to kamaʻāina and malihini, including hilo and kui lei (braiding and stringing lei), ulana lauhala (lauhala weaving), kuʻi ʻai (pounding taro) and kūkākūkā (talk story) about the wa‘a Laʻiʻōpua.
Destination Management Action Plan: Kaua‘i Community Meetings 
HTA and the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau (KVB) convened two community meetings on Kaua‘i to share continuing efforts aimed at resetting and managing tourism. More than 130 residents in total attended the public meetings held in Līhu‘e and on Kaua‘i’s north shore on August 16 and 17, respectively. At the meetings, HTA and KVB staff also shared updates on progress fulfilling actions called for by the community in its Kaua‘i Destination Management Action Plan. For more information, read the Spring 2022 Progress Report.

In addition, the Spring 2022 Progress Reports for Hawai‘i Island, Maui, Lāna‘i and O‘ahu are available at
Community Enrichment Program: Queen Lili‘uokalani Canoe Race 

The Queen Lili‘uokalani Canoe Race (Queen’s Canoe Club Kai ‘Opua) (QLCR) will return to Kalaoa, Hawai‘i, from September 1 through 5, after a three-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Held annually since 1971, QLCR is Hawai‘i’s largest long-distance canoe race and has also qualified as the world's largest canoe race. Its women’s and men’s 18-mile races follow a historically and culturally significant course running between Kamakahonu Beach in Kailua-Kona Bay and Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park. Race events also include double-hull canoe and stand-up paddle board competitions, a walking tour of Historic Kailua Village, an International Paddlers Night, Paddling Talk Story sessions, and a Torchlight Parade. Learn more at
Representing the Hawaiian Islands at 2022 ESTO 

From August 19 through 22, HTA staff joined the U.S. Travel Association at its 2022 Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The national forum brought together hundreds of destination management professionals at the state, regional and local levels to gain insight into critical tools, tips and information to help them better brand and manage tourism in their destinations.

Representing Hawaiʻi on stage were HTA Chief Brand Officer Kalani Kaʻanāʻanā, who joined “The KPIs of Community, Evolving Organizational Metrics” panel, and DBEDT Director of Tourism Research Jennifer Chun, who spoke on “Mapping the Research Funnel for Marketers.”

“The thing that stood out to me most was the broad interest in defining KPIs that go beyond economics and dive deeper into how they impact our communities,” said Kalani.

Also in attendance were HTA Senior Brand Managers Jadie Goo and ʻIwalani Kūaliʻi Kahoʻohanohano, and Director of Planning Caroline Anderson.

“It was a great opportunity to learn and share with other state travel offices and DMOs (destination management organizations) what we are doing in terms of managing tourism,” said Caroline. “There are other places that are facing similar challenges. We’re not alone and we are all doing our best toward finding the solutions to support our communities and visitors.”
Global MCI
Conversations of Laulima and Mālama in the Nation’s Capital 

The Washington, D.C., Meet Hawai‘i team recently partnered with Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort and Hilton Waikoloa Village to connect with 14 customers planning to or considering bringing meetings to Hawai‘i between 2023 and 2028.

Over two days in July, the team met with the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB), which is bringing more than 1,000 attendees to O‘ahu in 2024 for its annual Plant Biology meeting. ASPB recently obtained a five-year, $2 million grant to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the plant sciences. ASPB’s ROOT & SHOOT (Rooting Out Oppression Together and Sharing Our Outcomes Transparently) project will provide resources, trainings, opportunities and structures aimed at seeding and cultivating cultural change toward an inclusive, equitable, scientific future in the discipline of plant biology. Meet Hawai‘i is working with ASPB to connect its attendees with Hawai‘i’s community members through the ‘Elele Program.

Clients in D.C. were also excited to learn about the launch of the Hawai‘i Convention Center’s Carbon Offset program. Meet Hawai‘i shared how conventions can make a positive impact in the Hawaiian Islands by giving back through this program in partnership with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative.
Greater Midwest Chapter of PCMA Hosts First-Ever Golf Classic 

Chicago’s Meet Hawai‘i team was a key partner in developing the first-ever Greater Midwest Chapter (GMC) PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association) Golf Classic, which took place on July 25. Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort and Hilton Waikoloa Village sponsored a tournament hole and welcomed clients from the Midwest region of the U.S. to experience the spirit of aloha firsthand. A total of 64 golfers attended the inaugural event.

The GMC is one of the largest PCMA chapters in the U.S. with over 1,200 members in seven states.
Meet Hawai‘i Team Continues to Generate Sales Leads

Meet Hawai‘i Regional Director of Accounts Meredith Parkins networked with and educated clients about the Hawaiian Islands at the PCMA New York Chapter’s Summer Social on July 26. Parkins connected with more than 30 customers at the event, held at the Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel, which resulted in a Request for Proposal (RFP) for 2026 representing 600 room nights for Hawai‘i.

The Meet Hawai‘i team connected with clients at these events as well:

  • Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA) Summit in Nashville, Tennessee (July 31-August 3) 
  • American Society of Association Executive (ASAE) Annual Meeting and Exposition in Nashville, Tennessee (August 20-23) 
  • Maritz Global Events NEXT&, a joint customer and vendor conference in Tampa, Florida (August 29-September 1) 
Hawai‘i Tourism USA
HTUSA Launches New Hawaiian Islands Digital Travel Guides for Travel Advisors 

Working closely with HTA and the Island Chapters, Hawai‘i Tourism United States’ (HTUSA) Travel Trade team recently launched four new Hawaiian Islands Digital Travel Guides as educational branding resources geared toward travel advisors. The guides highlight four Hawai‘i traveler types: Mālama Hawai‘i/Mindful Travel, Hawaiian Culture, Culinary and Outdoor Travel. Advisors can download and share the guides with their clients.

Highly visual, engaging and informative, the guides spotlight unique opportunities for visitors seeking to immerse themselves in Hawai‘i’s natural beauty, authentic culture, diverse cuisine and enriching voluntourism experiences. In addition, the guides serve as resources presenting a cohesive destination brand message, promoting responsible tourism and providing advisors with tools to help educate potential visitors before they arrive in the Islands.

Travel advisors can easily share the Digital Travel Guides via the HTUSA travel agent portal by creating a personal email to their clients based on their personal interests. Tracking has been implemented to measure advisor engagement.
HTA Conducts Mālama Hawai‘i Participation Survey 

HTUSA recently launched a participation survey aimed at collecting valuable information from mindful Hawai‘i travelers and formally tracking their participation in the Mālama Hawai‘i program, HTA’s statewide initiative encouraging visitors to give back to the Islands through volunteer experiences. The brief survey asks visitors where they volunteered, how they heard about the program and if they are willing to share more about their experience via email. Several active Mālama Hawai‘i partner organizations are piloting the survey by including it in their existing check-in or waiver form. The survey will be rolled out to all partners in the weeks ahead.
Hawai‘i Tourism Japan
HTJ Continues Mālama Hawai‘i Visitor Education Efforts in Japan 

In conjunction with Japan’s major travel agencies, air carriers and a large credit card company, Hawai‘i Tourism Japan (HTJ) published a two-page spread in the July 17 issue of the country’s largest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, educating potential travelers about HTA’s Mālama Hawai‘i program. Participating partners included All Nippon Airways (ANA), ANA X, Japan Airlines, JCB Credit Cards, JTB Travel, H.I.S. Travel and the Japan Association of Travel Agents.

Conceptualized to convey a new way of experiencing the Hawaiian Islands appealing to the Japanese market, the Mālama Hawai‘i-focused spread was also displayed in the lower level of Shinjuku Station, a highly trafficked, major railway station in Tokyo. The display was up from July 18 through August 14, reaching nearly 94 million people. It was also posted on Twitter from July 18 through August 31, generating an estimated 6 million impressions.

From May 9 through June 30, HTJ promoted the Mālama Hawai‘i video to audiences in Japan on YouTube, and via social networking services, television distribution application TVer, and online television platform Abema TV, which does not allow viewers to skip advertisements. The targeted distribution amassed 11.3 million total impressions and more than 9 million views. Across all media platforms, the unit price-per-view of the video was the lowest among all of HTJ’s year-to-date digital ads, yielding highly efficient results.
Hōkūleʻa Documentary Screens for World Oceans Day 

Following its successful screenings of the Japanese-subtitled Hōkūleʻa documentary “Moananuiākea” in Tokyo and Nagoya in May, and Yokohama and Chigasaki in June, HTJ held additional screenings in Osaka timed to coincide with World Oceans Day. The two Osaka screenings of the documentary on July 18 — which included talk-story sessions with members of the Hōkūleʻa crew — were held to raise awareness of ocean and global environmental issues.

More than 400 participants attended the July screenings, which included an exhibition of the Hawaiian star compass used for Hōkūleʻa’s navigation. Participants asked Hōkūleʻa crew members about the vessel’s structure, daily life aboard the canoe, and the most enjoyable moments of their voyages. The July 18 screenings were also on the final day of the Hawaiʻi Fair — one of Osaka’s largest annual events — at Hankyu Department Store’s Umeda main location.
Hawai‘i Tourism Canada
HTCAN Launches 2022 Training Campaign for Travel Advisors 

Hawai‘i Tourism Canada (HTCAN) kicked off its 2022 Training Campaign for Canadian travel advisors with the campaign’s first webinar on July 21. The webinar was conducted by HTCAN Account Director Lorenzo Campos and Spoiled Agent Vice President of Sales and Marketing Sabrina Filatow. Nearly 50 advisors attended the webinar, with others viewing it via a Facebook Group live session. The training offered travel advisors information on the Mālama Hawai‘i program and its message of kuleana. The recorded session is available for travel advisors to view through December on Spoiled Agent Hawai‘i’s dedicated page.
Travel Courier Campaign Continues to Feature the Hawaiian Islands

Travel Courier magazine has now spotlighted each of Hawai‘i’s islands and interviewed its respective Island Chapter for four consecutive months in its print and online editions, educating Canada-based travel professionals on each island’s diversity and nuances. The August issue of the magazine features the island of Hawai‘i.

Each article in the series discusses the importance of Canadian travelers to Hawai‘i and offers information about Mālama Hawai‘i-focused experiences on each island. Canadian agents reading the articles learn how each of Hawai‘i’s islands is unique and the responsibility agents share in providing accurate information about Hawai‘i to their clients.
Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania
HTO Partners with Australia’s Luxury Escapes 

Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania (HTO) worked with Australia-based series “Luxury Escapes” to showcase the island of O‘ahu and two of its accommodation options: Turtle Bay Resort and Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. Australian actor and “Luxury Escapes” television host Cameron Daddo — along with former “The Bachelor Australia” TV series winners Jimmy Nicholson and Holly Kingston — recently explored O‘ahu for six days, filming their experiences at Kualoa Ranch, Miro Kaimuki restaurant, Royal Hawaiian Catamaran, and Waikīkī’s beaches and resorts.
New Zealand Flights to Hawai‘i Return

Flight routes between New Zealand and Hawai‘i resumed service in July following a pause brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. To kick off resumption of flights, HTO and Hawaiian Airlines hosted a group of influential media for travel to O‘ahu aboard the air carrier’s first flight on the route on July 4.

The group’s O‘ahu itinerary featured a mix of new experiences alongside other exciting exploits that have made travel to Hawai‘i so special for Kiwi travelers. The concept of mālama was woven into media itineraries and has already been featured throughout resulting media coverage.
HTO Showcasing the Hawaiian Islands at Four Australia Wedding Expos in 2022

As part of its strategy targeting the lucrative weddings and honeymoons market, HTO has partnered with Hawaiian Airlines to showcase the Hawaiian Islands at four wedding expos across Australia this year. The first of these expos was held on July 24 at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. The HTO team created a “Romance Guide to Hawai‘i” for the event, promoting wedding locations, romantic hotels and activities in the Islands.
Hawai‘i Tourism Korea
HTK Promotes Kuleana Travel Tips with Korean Air and Multiple Travel Agencies 

As part of its pre-travel communication efforts, Hawai‘i Tourism Korea (HTK) partnered with Korean Air and 18 travel agencies to deliver Kuleana Travel Tips messaging to travelers purchasing Hawai‘i airline tickets through electronic direct mail (eDM) or mobile messaging app KakaoTalk. The five Hawai‘i travel tips videos — spotlighting culture, ocean safety, marine protection, ocean conservation and land safety — are available for viewing on the educational campaign’s promotional landing page, with translated subtitles. The campaign, which began in July, runs through September.

HTK also partnered on a campaign with Asiana Airlines where, from July through September, consumers purchasing an Asiana Airlines Hawai‘i ticket online will find a banner linking to the Kuleana Travel Tips video on HTK’s YouTube page. The banner is also displayed via Asiana Airlines website’s “Find My Trip” function for travelers purchasing tickets through travel agencies. In addition, HTK and Asiana Airlines held a giveaway event and promotion in July for Hawai‘i ticket purchasers, which featured the Hawai‘i travel tips video.
HTK Works with Magazine B on Hawai‘i Issue

HTK is assisting Korea-based brand documentary publication Magazine B with a special upcoming Hawai‘i issue. The magazine’s staff visited the Islands in August, conducting interviews discussing the Mālama Hawai‘i program, HTA's mission and initiatives, and hotels incorporating sustainable practices.
Hawai‘i Tourism China
HTC Hosts Educational Training for Tuniu Travel Staff

Hawai‘i Tourism China (HTC) conducted a live webinar training on July 13 for more than 60 travel specialists from Tuniu Travel, a leading online leisure travel company in China. Tuniu Travel offers a large selection of organized and self-guided tour packages, and travel-related services, for leisure travelers, covering more than 420 departing cities throughout China and popular destinations worldwide. HTC shared recent COVID-19 travel protocols and information on Hawai‘i and HTA’s Mālama Hawaiʻi campaign and Community Enrichment program at the webinar. The training session was well received, earning 4,030 likes on social media.
HTC Participates in B2C+B2B Roadshow in Beijing 

A partner of the 2022 U.S. Commercial Service Global Travel and Tourism Team, HTC participated in the U.S. Embassy in China’s B2C+B2B Roadshow in Beijing on July 16. The event — organized with EducationUSA, American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and other U.S. destinations — was attended by more than 120 Chinese overseas students and families. HTC shared Hawai‘i destination updates and information about responsible travel, the Mālama Hawaiʻi program and other travel resources at the event, and treated attendees to Hawai‘i-grown macadamia nuts and hula performances.
LESS is More with HTC and Ctrip

HTC recently participated in China-based travel-service provider Ctrip’s global LESS Sustainable Travel Plan alongside other travel destinations worldwide. (LESS is an acronym for “Low carbon, Environment protection, Save energy, Sustainable development.”) The plan’s mission is helping encourage low-carbon travel, caring for the global environment, and caring for our common home planet, and is aligning well with HTA’s Mālama Hawaiʻi campaign. In support of the campaign, posts on Hawai‘i’s sustainable travel initatives were published on Ctrip’s and HTC’s social media accounts.
HTC Fostering Longtime Connections Between Hawai‘i and China 

In partnership with nonprofit Dr. Sun Yat-sen Hawai‘i Foundation, HTC is developing a series of social media posts in third-quarter 2022 honoring acknowledged Father of Modern China Dr. Sun Yat-sen and his legacy, as well as the long history between Hawai‘i and China. The partnership hopes chronicling these historical links will resonate with potential travelers from China alongside Mālama Hawai‘i educational efforts already underway in the country.
Keep in touch with HTA via social media:
HTA recognizes the use of the 'okina ['] or glottal stop, one of the eight consonants of the (modern) Hawaiian language; and the kahakō [ō] or macron (e.g., in place names of Hawai'i such as Lāna'i). However, HTA respects the individual use of these markings for names of organizations and businesses. Due to technological limitations, this current communication
may not include all Hawaiian diacritical markings.