ʻO Ka ʻŌlelo Ke Kaʻā O Ka Mauli
Language is the fiber that binds us to our cultural identity

ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi is at the core of our way of life in Hawaiʻi. As a part of our foundation at the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority – in HRS §201B-7 as well as our 2020 – 2025 Strategic Plan, which is itself a modern government document written in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiian language and the principles deeply engrained therein are what guide us in the work that we do and more importantly, connect us to the work that we do in and for our community. To Mālama Hawaiʻi is to care for this place in the way that is unique to Hawaiʻi and a part of that is understanding its language.

At HTA, we are proud to announce that in honor of ke ola o ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, we have amended our policies to include correct Hawaiian orthography across our body of work, including digital platforms. Read on to learn more and how you can be a part of this effort.
Spring Tourism Update — Coming Soon!

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority is planning its 2023 Spring Tourism Update, which will be held at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center. The event will include market updates from our Global Marketing Team, updates on implementation of the Destination Management Action Plans, and panel sessions with key leaders on important topics for Hawaiʻi and our visitor industry. Be on the lookout for the event date, registration information and more details in the weeks ahead.
TTRA Forum Provides Insight for Destination Management and Future of Tourism 

HTA Director of Tourism Research Jennifer Chun and our research partner Chris Kam, president and chief operating officer of Omnitrak, attended the Travel and Tourism Research Association’s Marketing Outlook Forum from February 6 to 8 in Houston, Texas to learn about the economic outlook for tourism, trends in the various visitor industry sectors, and the future of travel. The three-day event brought together destination management, marketing, and research professionals from across industries to share insights, network, and engage with thought leaders to hear their knowledge and expertise. The forum provided HTA with opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaboration to learn about best practices and innovative strategies that can be implemented in our destination management efforts to advance a regenerative model of tourism for Hawaiʻi.
Supporting Hawai‘i’s Farmers and Food Producers on Ag Awareness Day and Every Day

Farmers and food producers from across the state gathered at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol on February 9 for annual Agriculture Awareness Day celebrations. Reinforcing our commitment to strengthening agriculture statewide, HTA hosted an educational booth at the event sharing information about our commitment to supporting local agriculture and partnerships within the state’s ag industry. Ag industry partnerships are important, accelerating our momentum in encouraging diversification and creating a model of regenerative tourism.

HTA has taken several actions over the past few years demonstrating our ongoing support in this area. We are a signatory to Hawai‘i Green Growth’s Mālama Mandate, committing us to advancing Hawaiʻi’s Aloha+ Challenge and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the ʻĀina Aloha Economic Futures Declaration, which envisions a circular economy in which food and agriculture are an integral part.

Through various HTA programs, we have supported the University of Hawai‘i’s GoFarm Hawaiʻi farm tours, the Hawaiʻi Farm Trails mobile app and ʻāina-based initiatives created by organizations such as ʻĀina Momona, Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi and Kaʻala Farm. HTA also developed an agritourism guidebook with GoFarm Hawaiʻi, the Oʻahu Resource Conservation and Development Council, and the Hawaiʻi Agritourism Association. We are also working to deliver on community priorities articulated in our Destination Management Action Plans, many of which reference support of local food and value-added products.
HTA and Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation Hold Meetings Addressing Commercial Activity at O‘ahu Beach Parks

As part of our destination management efforts, HTA is working in partnership with City and County of Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Director Laura Thielen to help balance the concerns of O‘ahu residents and businesses regarding commercial activity at the City’s beach parks. Three meetings were held between January 30 and February 1 with wedding operators and commercial tour bus companies serving English-speaking and Eastbound markets to gather input DPR will utilize in drafting legislation for comprehensive island-wide regulation of commercial and noncommercial activities at the City’s beach parks. The meetings were DPR’s first with these groups and produced healthy discussions on ways of creating positive experiences for park users and addressing opportunities and challenges. Community discussions on these topics will continue.
Celebrating Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi

Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian Language Month) is celebrated each February to honor and perpetuate the indigenous language of our island home. Strengthening the usage and authentic representation of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi in our community and industry is essential to our mission at the Ke‘ena Kuleana Ho‘okipa O Hawai‘i (Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority), and we are committed to contributing to its vitality today and for future generations. As part of this commitment, we offer our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, board and committee meeting agendas, and this monthly E-Bulletin in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i.

We are excited to announce that our updated Maʻemaʻe Hawai‘i Style and Resource Toolkit, created in partnership with the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association, is now available on the HTA website. It includes a wealth of guidance for the visitor industry to utilize in authentically and appropriately representing Hawaiʻi and upholding the integrity, protection and normalization of Hawaiian culture. Since its first edition in 2010, this living document has evolved from a toolkit for media to a resource for all. Mahalo to all the individuals and organizations with strong ancestral and indigenous knowledge of Hawaiʻi who continue to contribute and infuse their ʻike into this kuleana of maʻemaʻe a maiau (cleanliness and neatness) of the work being done in our industry. We encourage the visitor industry and community to widely utilize and share the updated Maʻemaʻe Toolkit, which can be downloaded here.
Proper Hawaiian Orthography on All Digital Platforms

In May 2022 we, at HTA, made the conscious decision to amend our ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi policy to include Hawaiian orthography on our websites, social media platforms, and other digital assets. This was a big step in presenting our work authentically, important to uplifting Hawaiʻi’s native (and official) language, and the pono (right) thing to do. This was no easy task. We appreciate the extensive kōkua from our partners at the Hawaiʻi Visitors and Convention Bureau, the Island Chapters, as well as Miles Partnership and Anthology, A FINN Partners Company. Nearly 600 pages of content was carefully examined to include ʻokina and kahakō, as well as translations where necessary. Over 100 of these words were used in different contexts and therefore, translated accordingly throughout these platforms. As we holomua in this effort we will continue to make edits and updates, especially as we learn more about how we can hoʻoikaika hou (improve). E kele aku iā (go visit) hawaiitourismauthority.org a me (and) gohawaii.com.

If you missed our ‘Ōlelo o ka Lā (Hawaiian Word of the Day) social media posts during Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, we encourage you to visit our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages to learn more about the Hawaiian words and values impacting our work to mālama kuʻu home.
HTA Releases RFP for Destination Stewardship Support Services

On February 13, HTA issued a Request for Proposals (RFP 23-08) seeking support services for Destination Stewardship that will assist in our destination management efforts. Support services being solicited include:
  • On-island, post-arrival visitor education reinforcing the importance of being a responsible, mindful visitor 
  • Aloha ʻĀina, Kūkulu Ola, Community Enrichment and Signature Event programs 
  • Technical assistance and capacity building 
  • Development of a Quality Assurance Program for customer experience and environmental stewardship in accommodations, activities, services and transportation 
  • A Tour Guide Certification Program to educate and accredit tour guides in Hawaiʻi’s culture and history, customer service and safety
  • A Resort Area Hawaiian Culture Initiative to provide culturally appropriate greetings and entertainment in resort areas 
  • Smart Tourism projects that will seek technology-enabled solutions to manage tourism, including hotspot management.

Proposals are due to HTA by 2 p.m. Hawai‘i Standard Time on March 28, 2023. View the RFP here.
Kaua‘i and O‘ahu Hospitality Updates with County Mayors Emphasize Collaboration

HTA continued its round of Hospitality Industry Updates with County of Kaua‘i Mayor Derek Kawakami and City and County of Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi on February 9 and 13, respectively. The virtual meetings — hosted on Zoom and launched during the COVID-19 pandemic — continue to demonstrate the importance of ongoing communication and collaboration between the public and private sectors statewide. Topics discussed with visitor-industry participants in this quarter’s meetings included Destination Management Action Plan implementation, pre- and post-arrival visitor education, and addressing issues such as the proliferation of illegal short-term vacation rentals on each island.
HTA Issues RFP for Brand Management and Marketing Services for the U.S. Market

On February 13, the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority released a Request for Proposals (RFP 23-03) seeking brand management and marketing services in the United States, Hawai‘i’s largest visitor source market. The solicitation calls for a pre-arrival communications program to educate visitors with specific information about safe, respectful and mindful travel, which would be coordinated with HTA’s on-island programs to provide a seamless message throughout the entire visitor journey.

Another key emphasis of marketing services will be to target mindful travelers with an emphasis on lifetime trip expenditures and increasing per person, per day expenditures in alignment with the Key Performance Indicators established in HTA’s 2020 - 2025 Strategic Plan. This includes driving visitor spending into Hawai‘i-based businesses to support a healthy economy, supporting local businesses, purchasing Hawaiʻi-grown agricultural products and promoting Hawai‘i-made products in-market in partnership with HTA, the State of Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), and the private sector.

Proposals are due to HTA by 2 p.m. Hawai‘i Standard Time on March 30, 2023. View the RFP here.
International Market Highlights

Read on for brand management updates from our international markets.

Please also visit our Partnership Opportunities page for information on upcoming programs within all our major market areas.
Hawai‘i Tourism Japan
HTJ Publishes Educational Hawai‘i Comic and Pictorial Book with Gakken

Hawai‘i Tourism Japan (HTJ) collaborated with Japan-based publishing company Gakken to release the comic and pictorial book, “Hawaiʻi’s Secret” (Japanese title: “Hawai‘i No Himitsu”). The book’s comic section follows a family of four visiting O‘ahu and the island of Hawaiʻi and learning about responsible and regenerative tourism through participation in a Mālama Hawaiʻi tour. The pictorial part of the book shares knowledge on Hawaiʻi’s natural world, geology and culture. “Hawaiʻi’s Secret” was distributed to approximately 20,000 elementary schools and 3,200 public libraries in Japan. An e-book version was published on Gakken’s website. To commemorate the book’s publication, HTJ conducted follow and retweet campaigns on Twitter, earning 1,741 retweets, 42,602 impressions and 120 new followers.
Hawai‘i Tourism Canada
HTCAN Hosts Product Managers FAM Trip

Hawai‘i Tourism Canada (HTCAN) organized a familiarization (FAM) trip for product managers representing major Canadian tour operators, introducing them to new, post-COVID-19 pandemic Hawai‘i information and experiences. The FAM’s five participants represented Groupe Voyages Québec, Air Miles, JM Vacations, Flight Centre and TravelBrands. The group met with suppliers, participated in Mālama Hawai‘i activities and experienced natural wonders of Hawai‘i Island and O‘ahu. HTCAN also invited FAM participants to HTA’s 2022 Hawai‘i Tourism Conference where they met with representatives from several hotels and service providers and learned about HTA’s activities in other travel markets and its core messaging based on aloha, mālama and kuleana foundational values. Product managers who participated in the FAM are already updating and creating new Hawai‘i products for their tour companies inspired by their travels in the Islands.
Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania
HTO Partners with Hawaiian Airlines and Travel Associates on FAM Trip

In December, Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania (HTO) worked with Hawaiian Airlines and Travel Associates on a trade familiarization (FAM) trip on O‘ahu. Travel Associates, the luxury brand of Flight Centre Travel Group, possesses a client list aligned with HTO’s target high-value and mindful traveller. Travel agents invited to participate in the FAM were selected for being top sellers of Hawaiʻi product and first-time Hawai‘i visitors. The FAM offered the agents an intensive introduction to O‘ahu, with HTO working closely with O‘ahu Visitors Bureau on their itinerary, which included Made in Hawaiʻi and Mālama Hawaiʻi experiences.
Hawai‘i Tourism Korea
Korea Film Crew Visits Hawai‘i to Spotlight Golf and Mālama-Focused Experiences

Hawai‘i Tourism Korea (HTK) recently launched a celebrity golf YouTube campaign, inviting a film crew from popular YouTube channel “Kim Gura’s Cuckoo Golf TV” to showcase a Hawai‘i golf trip and Mālama Hawai‘i activity. The resulting program spotlighted Korean celebrities Kim Gura and Nojoon Park competing against two Hawai’i guest golfers. Gura’s channel differs from traditional golf shows by featuring the sport in a comic, vibrant and funny style keeping with Gura’s persona as a Korean comedian. Following their golf match, the celebrities visited O‘ahu’s Kualoa Ranch to experience Mālama Hawai‘i and ocean activities. Two episodes filmed in Hawai‘i will be uploaded to Gura’s channel in late February. “Kim Gura’s Cuckoo Golf TV” is Korea’s leading YouTube golf channel, with more than 364,000 followers.
Hawai‘i Tourism China
HTC Hosts Environmental Awareness-Themed Birthday Event for Hawai‘i-Born Boy Band Singer

Hawai‘i Tourism China (HTC) and Weibo jointly posted a special birthday event in Shanghai for Chinese boy band INTO1’s popular Hawaiʻi-born singer Mika Hashizume. The post showcased Waikīkī beach, voluntourism activities, and Mālama Hawaiʻi messages about protecting the Hawaiian Islands’ natural resources, living the spirit of aloha and being a responsible traveler. More than 60 fans attended a birthday event for the singer at a location spotlighting environmental awareness and Mālama Hawaiʻi messages. HTC presented at the event, which also featured live hula. Attendees sported green face masks to protect each other and show their awareness of and responsibility for the environment. One fan commented, “I want to travel to Mika's hometown, join the team of environmental protection volunteers, and gain a deeper understanding of Hawaiian culture." The birthday-event post earned more than 100,000 views and over 6,000 comments.
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.