Video Message From 
HTA President and CEO John De Fries
ʻAʻole oʻu makemake e paio aku, he makemake koʻu e pololei ka moʻolelo o koʻu one hānau, ʻaʻole na ka malihini e aʻo mai iaʻu i ka moʻolelo o koʻu lāhui, naʻu e aʻo aku i ka moʻolelo i ka malihini.

I have no desire to argue, I want the history of my homeland to be accurate; it is not for the foreigner to teach me the history of my people, it is for me to teach it to the foreigner.

– S. M. Kamakau, Ke Au Okoa, October 16, 1865, pg. 1

In February, we celebrate Hawaiian Language Month in honor of a living Hawaiian language and all those who continue to work toward its normalization. In the 19th century, government business was generally conducted in Hawaiian. However, in 1898, Hawaiian language was banned from many institutions following the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, which almost led to the language’s extinction. It wasn't until 1978 that Hawaiian once again became an official language of our state. 

The excerpt above is from one of the hundreds of Hawaiian language newspapers that once existed. It was written by the well-known historian and scholar of Hawaiian ancestry, Samuel Mānaiakalani Kamakau. A jurist and legislator as well, his writings covered various aspects of the traditional culture in Hawaiʻi and were printed in two newspapers, Ke Au Okoa and Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, from the late 18th century through a major portion of the 19th century. The newspapers told the stories of Hawaiʻi, as Kamakau states above, from a worldview only understood by those whose lineages trace back to our kupuna (elders) and the ʻāina (land) itself. 

Our kuleana today, as mea hoʻokipa o Hawaiʻi (hosts here in the Islands), is to share the authentic beauty of our home, which thrives in these stories that we continue to tell as kamaʻāina or those who live it. The Hawaiian language is at the core of our way of life in Hawaiʻi and is a part of our foundation at the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) — in HRS §201B-7 — as well as our Strategic Plan for 2020-2025, which is itself a modern government document written in the mother tongue of Hawaiʻi. HTA is proud to stand alongside today’s more than 30,000 Hawaiian language champions as we honor individuals like Kamakau, who dedicated his life to preserving Hawaiian knowledge for generations who would come after him.
He Aupuni Palapala

Kamehameha III decreed, “He aupuni palapala koʻu,” stating that his Hawaiʻi was a kingdom of education. In the 1800s, Hawaiians were among the most literate people in the world. The nūpepa Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian-language newspapers) became valuable sources of knowledge about our people and places in Hawaiʻi as well as the world around us. These same newspapers are still available for us to read today thanks to the efforts of He Aupuni Palapala, supported by HTA, Bishop Museum, Kamehameha Schools and Awaiaulu Inc. The mission of this collaboration is to preserve each of the millions of pages of nūpepa by digitizing them and updating our online database.

As 2021 drew to a close, He Aupuni Palapala digitized and cataloged nearly 3,000 nūpepa pages using updated technology allowing a clearer and more accurate representation of the original copies all the way through to the color of the aged pages. (See image comparison below). This year, we entered the second phase of our partnership continuing these efforts, an achievement HTA President and CEO John De Fries is especially proud of. “Culturally speaking, there is no higher calling than liberating the voices of our ancestors in a focused effort to restore their intellectual and societal relevance in contemporary times,” he said.

HTA Chief Brand Officer Kalani Kaʻanāʻanā was recently spotlighted in Hawaiʻi Business magazine’s “20 For the Next 20” feature, in which he discussed his journey in tourism and what destination management will look like in the near future.

“We believe in travel where there’s reciprocity and an exchange of ideas and learning,” said Kalani, in the feature. “We’re trying to attract people who love this place as much as we do.”

Community Enrichment Program

In its ongoing effort to support our community partners, HTA recently awarded $2.9 million to 86 community-based projects, festivals and events for 2022.

“Our Community Enrichment program enables the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority to serve as the connecting point between tourism and meaningful economic diversification by reinvesting in these community-based experiences spanning various industries,” said Kalani Ka‘anā‘anā, HTA’s chief brand officer. “We are proud to support the efforts of our residents in their communities, as these festivals and events are an integral part of Hawai‘i’s lifestyle and multicultural brand.”

Read the news release for more information.
Aloha ʻĀina

Did you know that one in three visitors making their way to the island of Hawaiʻi visit Kahaluʻu Bay during their stay?

Kahaluʻu Bay is an ecological treasure, providing critical habitat to more than a hundred fish species, 29 resident honu and some of the Kona coast’s last massive, nearshore Porites evermanni (brown lobe coral) colonies. However, chronic stressors, including unmanaged overuse of the bay, poor water quality and damage from rising ocean temperatures and coastal inundation, have tremendously degraded the bay’s natural habitats.

Through its “Aloha ʻĀina Kahalu‘u: Caring for a Cherished Place” program, The Kohala Center, one of HTA’s Aloha ʻĀina recipients, aims to deepen ʻāina-kānaka (land-people) relationships by empowering community leaders to provide access and exposure to place-based and pono (balanced) practices at Kahalu‘u before visitors step foot in this wahi pana (legendary place).

Visit The Kohala Center website for more information.
Winter Tourism Update

The 2022 Winter Tourism Update, held on February 9, offered insights on ways HTA is fulfilling our Strategic Plan, focusing on our brand marketing pillar aimed at protecting and enhancing Hawaiʻi's globally competitive brand and story in a coordinated, authentic and market-appropriate manner. Included in the update was a look at the progress being made through HTA’s Destination Management Action Plans (DMAPs), presented by Planning Director Caroline Anderson. To kick the Winter Tourism Update off, HTA opened with a hoʻokipa ceremony.

Learn about what a ho‘okipa ceremony is and take a look at what each of our markets are doing by clicking here or reading the updates below.
Hawai‘i Tourism USA
Hawai‘i Tourism USA’s 2022 Aloha Season program with the Golf Channel peaked in January with three Hawai‘i PGA Tour events: the Sentry Tournament of Champions (Maui), Sony Open in Hawai‘i (O‘ahu), and Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualālai (island of Hawai‘i). This year’s programming was accompanied by a new look and feel as three PGA Tour professional golfers engaged in Mālama Hawai‘i activities to experience Hawaiʻi in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Click their names here to watch Sam Burns, Stewart Cink and Talor Gooch on their travels and learn how travelers, too, can mālama Hawaiʻi when they visit the Islands.
Hawai‘i Tourism Japan
Hawai‘i Tourism Japan (HTJ) celebrated Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian Language Month) with social networking service (SNS) campaigns, daily introductions of ʻōlelo noʻeau (Hawaiian language proverbs) and a weekly webinar, all with a goal of strengthening Hawaiian language awareness across its channels. Within the first two weeks of its launch, the webinar series drew more than a thousand people eager to learn ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language). Additionally, HTJ’s digital platforms featured Kuleana videos sharing the importance of Hawaiian culture and protecting marine life environments, as well as supporting and encouraging buying local, via videos spotlighting 15 businesses at the Made in Hawaiʻi Festival.
Hawai‘i Tourism Canada
As part of its ongoing efforts to educate travel advisors and have them advocate the mālama mindset, Hawai‘i Tourism Canada (HTCAN) put together an educational webinar campaign on one of Canada’s most popular travel advisor platforms Spoiled Agent. The final two webinars of the campaign happened in January, spotlighting Kaua‘i and the island of Hawai‘i, and included Facebook livestream events. Representatives from both Island Chapters were invited to present updates on travel offerings and promote the Mālama Hawai‘i programs specific to their islands. A total of 140 travel advisors were trained via the campaign, and materials are still available from HTCAN for travel advisors to get involved. In February, the HTCAN team focused on getting Mālama Hawai‘i messaging on broadcast television in March for key Canadian markets.
Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania
In February, Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania (HTO) participated in Mardi Gras Fair Day, an outdoor festival and landmark event of the Mardi Gras Festival in Sydney. The occasion marked the first time the festival, a celebration of the love and diversity of the city’s LGBTQIA+ communities, had been held in two years, and attracted more than 80,000 people. The HTO team shared aloha from a themed stall, promoting Hawai‘i to the event’s high-value, mindful travelers. The team also ran a fun photo activity connecting it to festival attendees interested in learning more about LGBTQIA+ travel in Hawai‘i.
Hawai‘i Tourism Korea
In November, leading South Korea package travel agency Hana Tour joined forces with Hawaiʻi Tourism Korea to showcase new and exciting regenerative tour products with a trade familiarization tour. These experiences included dining at a restaurant utilizing fresh, locally grown vegetables on its menu, attending local cooking classes, clearing beach debris and planting trees. HTK is also continuing to share Mālama Hawaiʻi on its social media channels and looking to partner with social media influencers to help spread the word to other travelers about Mālama Hawaiʻi.
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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.