Hauoli Makahiki Hou!

From our ohana to yours, may your new year be filled
every day with love, joy, strong health and aloha.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority

New Executives Start at HTA
Keith Regan, Chief Administrative Officer
Karen Hughes, Vice President of Marketing and Product Development

The Hawaii Tourism Authority’s new executive leadership team is complete with the appointments of Keith Regan as chief administrative officer and Karen Hughes as vice president of marketing and product development.

They join newly appointed President and CEO Chris Tatum in guiding HTA forward in the fulfillment of its mission to support Hawaii’s tourism industry.
Regan joins HTA after serving as managing director for the County of Maui since January 2011. He oversaw the county’s operations, including the annual operating budget, managing all tactical operations during a crisis situation, and developing action plans to ensure compliance with audits.

As chief administrative officer, Regan is responsible for overseeing HTA’s operations, including fiscal management of contracts, the budget, program planning, information technology systems, and personnel, as well as all financial and management functions for the operation of the Hawaii Convention Center.
Hughes has 20 years of tourism sales and marketing experience in Hawaii, which includes serving as vice president of Meet Hawaii and travel industry partnerships for the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau from 2013 to 2015, and as regional vice president of sales and marketing for Starwood Hotels & Resorts from 2001 to 2006.

As vice president of marketing and product development, Hughes is responsible for supervising HTA’s programs to support Hawaii tourism, including marketing strategy and planning, development of new experiences, and administration of all programs supporting leisure and group travel.

Bernice Pauahi Bishop
Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop was born on December 19, 1831, in Honolulu. She was the great- granddaughter of Kamehameha I through the lineage of her mother, Konia. Pauahi was eligible to be named heir to the Kingdom of Hawaii but refused the role, believing wholeheartedly that it was her duty to serve with her people rather than to rule over them. In 1850, she married American businessman Charles Reed Bishop, one of the first marriages of high-ranking royalty to a person without Hawaiian ancestry.

When Pauahi’s cousin Ruth Keelikolani died in 1883, she left her significant Kamehameha family land holdings to Pauahi. The combination of these family lands and Pauahi’s own holdings instantly made her the largest private landowner in Hawaii. Soon after, Pauahi’s health declined and she spent her final days in Waikiki at Helumoa, where the Royal Hawaiian Center stands today.

Pauahi’s enduring legacy to Hawaii is Kamehameha Schools, an educational system established in 1887 at the direction of the princess’ will. Proceeds from her estate lands continue to fund preschool through high school education and college scholarships for thousands of Hawaiian children.

In 1891, her widower Charles Reed Bishop created the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, naming it in her honor. It is now the preeminent museum of natural and cultural history in the Pacific. Many of the Oahu museum’s first pieces were the personal effects, collections and inheritance items of the late princess.
Bishop Museum: Traditions of The Pacific
In 2018, the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum launched its Traditions of the Pacific program, a two-part series exploring the natural and cultural histories of Hawaii and the Pacific. The program included workshops, presentations and lectures at the museum conducted by Hawaiian cultural practitioners, experts and historians.

The first of the program’s series, “Stories from Hokulea’s Worldwide Voyage,” was led by crewmembers from the Polynesian Voyaging Society who spoke about the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, a three-year undertaking on long-distance voyaging canoe Hokulea to navigate the globe using traditional wayfinding skills. Topics covered included life aboard the voyaging canoe, canoe technology and the use of science at sea. Crewmembers also spoke about their experiences sharing their message of Malama Honua (caring for the Earth) to residents of the more than 23 countries Hokulea visited during its three years at sea.

The second of the program’s series, “Hula: Mind, Body and Spirit,” included a series of lectures, workshops, demonstrations and films exploring topics of hula that delved deeper into the ancient traditional practice. These included the relationship between hula and the natural world, healing arts as they relate to hula, parallels between hula and kuialua (the Hawaiian fighting art), and hula mai (dances of procreation).

Programs like Traditions of the Pacific provide opportunities for cultural practitioners to share traditional knowledge with malihini (visitors) and kamaaina, build relationships with the community and visitor industry, and allow participants to actively partake in cultural learning. For more information, visit
Haloa: A Staple For The Hawaiian People

In Hawaii, kalo (taro) is more than a staple of the Hawaiian diet; it is also the geneological source of life. When the first voyagers from Polynesia arrived on Hawaii’s shores, kalo was one of the few plants they brought with them. Geneological origin stories describe kalo as the elder sibling of the Hawaiian people. It is believed that sky father Wakea and Earth mother Papahanaumoku created the Hawaiian Islands, the first kalo named Haloa, and then the Hawaiian people.
This shared geneology between people, their environment and their food forms the basis of the Hawaiian worldview, which fosters environmental stewardship in the same way one cares for a family member.

In an effort to reestablish this kinship in modern-day Hawaii, the Ma Ka Hana Ka Ike Building Program launched the Hoi Ia Haloa (Return to Haloa) initiative in 2016 in Hana on the island of Maui. The program takes Hawaiian ancestral knowledge and reestablishes connections by returning to traditional food systems and cultural practices. The program includes dryland kalo cultivation, weekly kui ai (kalo pounding sessions) and classes, which include the making of boards and stones used in kalo pounding. To learn more, visit
Sentry Tournament of Champions
January 2-6, 2019

The Sentry Tournament of Champions welcomes the previous season’s PGA Tour winners to the award-winning Plantation Course at Kapalua, Maui. An opening weekend tradition of the new year, the tournament tees off the Aloha Hawaii Swing of the PGA Tour Schedule.
New Year’s Ohana Festival
January 13, 2019

The New Year’s Ohana Festival is the state’s largest celebrating this tradition of Japan. Held at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii and Moiliili Field, the festival features music and dance, food booths, keiki games, kimono dressing, a craft fair, cultural demonstrations, and free admission to Okage Sama De, which includes the Ellison Onizuka Remembrance Collection and Honouliuli National Monument Education Center.
Polynesian Football Hall of Fame
Weekend/High School All Star Game
January 18-19, 2019

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week festivities include bringing together top high school football players to celebrate culture and play in the Polynesian Bowl.
Hawaii Promoted at Cruise Planners Convention
Led by Hawaii Tourism United States (HTUSA), a team of seven Hawaii tourism partners promoted travel to the Hawaiian Islands at the Cruise Planners Annual Convention in Hollywood, Florida, November 27-28. The delegation conducted an educational seminar about experiencing the Hawaiian Islands that was well received by 100 travel trade professionals. In addition, a performance of hula and Hawaiian music was a highlight at the Preferred Partner Trade Show.
Hawaii Flavors Featured on
Journalist Josh Ocampo recently showcased Filipino cuisine, including Lineage, Chef Sheldon Simeon’s new Maui restaurant, in his article, “Maui’s Filipino Food Scene Doesn’t Get the Attention It Deserves – That’s About to Change,” on

A second article by Ocampo, “How Malasada, a Portuguese Sugar Donut, Became Hawaii’s Favorite Dessert,” highlighted the history of malasadas in Hawaii. caters to millennials. Ocampo was inspired to share his enthusiasm for Hawaii’s unique cuisine offerings while participating in HTUSA’s Hawaii Food and Wine Festival press trip.
Connecting Japan Media and Hawaii Partners
Hawaii Tourism Japan (HTJ) recently brought together Japan media companies and Hawaii stakeholders to connect, build relationships and discuss stories of interest for upcoming editorial coverage about the Hawaiian Islands. Ten Hawaii entities and more than 115 representatives from Japan media outlets participated.
Workshops and discussion sessions were organized to deepen the media’s understanding about the Hawaii market and share initiatives to reach travelers from Japan. Attendees also received an update on HTJ’s marketing initiatives, including a focus on responsible tourism in Hawaii.
Aloha Program Week in Hawaii
Aloha Program Week in Hawaii, November 5-10, provided Hawaii destination specialists with a deeper understanding about Hawaiian culture on the island of Hawaii and Maui. This year’s program built on the highly successful launch event on Oahu last year.
Attendees participated in various educational experiences and tours, such as the planting of endemic koa trees with Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods, and listening to the moving, personal account of Mr. Sadao Aoki at the Pacific Tsunami Museum. The feedback from attendees was very positive with many expressing strong interest in participating in the program in 2019.
Hawaii Showcased at Sydney Event
Representatives of the Hawaii Tourism Oceania (HTO), Kauai Visitors Bureau and Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau met with 25 MCI (meetings, conventions and incentives) and travel trade partners from Australia to discuss updates and opportunities in the Hawaiian Islands.

Held over lunch on November 16 at the InterContinental Sydney Hotel, the gathering showcased Kauai and the island of Hawaii in one-on-one meetings with potential clients, and also provided them with a lesson on hula. The event was very well received and generated new business leads for both islands.
New Zealand Meetings Expo Generates Leads

Representatives of HTO, the Kauai Visitors Bureau, Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau and Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach sought new meetings business from New Zealand at the Pacific Area Incentives & Conferences Expo (PAICE) on November 20. HTO also organized a networking event to interact with meeting planners.
New Zealand’s annual trade show for the MCI market, PAICE attracts key professional conference and corporate event organizers. Numerous new leads were generated for prospective business events in Hawaii.
Canada Media FAM Focuses on Adventure

Hawaii Tourism Canada organized a media familiarization tour allowing journalists to experience outdoor adventure, culture, and luxury on the island of Hawaii and Lanai. Highlights included waterfall hikes, a visit to the recently reopened Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a sunrise canoe tour, delicious island-inspired cuisine and beautiful accommodations. The FAM trip was a great success and an unforgettable experience for the journalists. Publications represented included Canadian Geographic, Travel Week and Journal de Montreal.
Popular Quebec TV Show Films in Hawaii
Occupation Double, Canada’s popular French-language version of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette TV shows in the U.S., filmed its 12th season finale on Oahu and Kauai in November. Occupation Double generates huge ratings in Quebec, which is the largest in size and second most-populous province of Canada. Strong support was provided by the Oahu Visitors Bureau and Kauai Visitors Bureau to make the filming a success that millions of viewers will enjoy.
Korea B2B Neighbor Island Promotion
Hawaii Tourism Korea (HTK) is partnering with Asiana Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines to promote travel to the neighbor islands from mid-November through early February. The objective is to position the neighbor islands as the perfect destination to enjoy a vacation during winter.
The two-part promotion involves, first, an online consumer sweepstakes by Asiana Airlines featuring special airfares to the neighbor islands along with Hawaii travel tips provided by the airline’s customers through social media channels from November 16 to December 31.

The second part of the promotion features Hawaiian Airlines offering a travel agent contest coupled with an online consumer promotion for travel from Seoul to Honolulu and Maui from January 14 through February 6.
Korea B2C Promotion with Mina Sohn

HTK partnered with popular Korean celebrity Mina Sohn to promote travel to the neighbor islands in November and December. Ms. Sohn is a CEO, broadcaster, writer, lecturer and editorial director of Huffpost Korea. She has hosted many TV shows, including primetime news for ten years on KBS, the largest broadcaster in Korea.
HTK’s official tourism ambassador, Ms. Sohn visited the Hawaiian Islands from July 16 to August 5 and is using her experiences to produce promotional destination videos that both she and HTK are sharing on Facebook and Instagram. The videos highlight her experiences on the island of Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, Lanai and Oahu and showcase activities, attractions and industry partners.
Cuisine with Aloha Featured in China

Hawaii’s unique cuisine offerings, such as the luau, poke, kalua pig burgers, loco moco, shave ice and acai bowls, are receiving added attention in China with the online launch of Hawaii Food and Travel Show – Cuisine with Aloha. Hawaii Tourism China (HTC) collaborated with IQIYI (leading China online video platform), X-fun Foodie Club (top Chinese online food show) and Air China to produce seven episodes of the new show.
Each episode is seen by more than 10 million viewers through IQIYI and Air China’s inflight entertainment. The audience learns about Hawaii’s healthy, tasty and diverse food culture. In addition, the show’s hosts take viewers on a trip to explore the activities, attractions and beauty found throughout Oahu and the island of Hawaii.
Hawaii Travel Products Roadshow in Beijing

HTC partnered with tour operator America Asia to host a roadshow of Hawaii travel products for trade partners in Beijing on November 14. Forty Beijing travel trade professionals participated, representing top wholesalers, tour operators and online travel agencies in Beijing.
The engaging presentation allowed attendees to share their interest in new Hawaii products, while also enjoying an immersive hula performance. HTC will continue to foster new business relationships with travel trade partners and support them with Hawaii product development and promotions.
Aloha Macau – A Night in Paradise

Aloha Macau – A Night in Paradise informed and entertained more than 550 guests on December 1 about what makes the Hawaiian Islands such a wonderful, diverse destination for travelers. Supported by Hawaii Tourism Hong Kong in association with AmCham Macau, an association that facilitates and promotes American business interests in Macau, the event displayed videos and photos showing Hawaii’s beauty and appeal to travelers. With the support of the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau, travel guidebooks and tote bags were provided as souvenirs to the guests.
Hawaii Showcased at Taipei Travel Fair

Organized by Hawaii Tourism Taiwan, a delegation of nine Hawaii tourism partners promoted travel to the Hawaiian Islands at the Taipei International Travel Fair, November 23 to 26. Taiwan’s largest travel fair, the four-day event attracted nearly 380,000 visitors, the most ever. Attendees of the fair enjoyed a range of Hawaii-themed activities and gathered a multitude of information about travel to the islands. In addition to meetings with the Hawaii delegation, attendees enjoyed hula performances, received lessons in Hawaiian phrases, and participated in prize giveaways, fun contests and sweepstakes drawings.
German Agents FAM Kauai, Island of Hawaii

Hawaii Tourism Europe (HTE) hosted travel agents from Germany on a familiarization trip to Kauai and the island of Hawaii in November. The group gained extensive knowledge that will help them sell vacation experiences on the two islands. Highlights of the FAM trip included a helicopter tour on Kauai and volcano tour on the island of Hawaii.
Workshop Educates France Agents about Hawaii
HTE represented the Hawaiian Islands at the Visit USA workshop at the American Cathedral in Paris on November 22.

Altogether, 230 travel agents participated in the workshop with more than a fourth of them receiving training and gaining new knowledge about selling Hawaii vacations to their clients.
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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
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