Message From 
HTA President and CEO John De Fries
Aloha Kākou,

Hawai‘i, the visitor industry, and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) are all in a time of huliau, or transformative change, in which an accelerated shift toward destination management is necessary in order for tourism to properly support the revitalization of our communities and economy in a more meaningful and reciprocal way.

As such, we have reorganized HTA’s structure and operations to support the goal of Mālama Ku‘u Home (caring for my beloved home) through the principles of regenerative tourism.

The restructuring includes the creation of more cross-functional teams within our organization for greater efficiency to execute on the deliverables outlined in our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, as well as enables us to be more responsive in our destination management role, which includes addressing tourism impacts in the community.

I would also like to highlight the well-deserved promotions of Kalani Ka‘anā‘anā as chief brand officer and Caroline Anderson as director of planning, both of which are newly created positions instrumental to HTA’s focus on supporting the four integrated pillars of our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan – Natural Resources, Hawaiian Culture, Community and Brand Marketing.

I appreciate your support of Kalani and Caroline with these important responsibilities that are vital to HTA’s destination management efforts.

The HTA staff continues to focus on addressing key issues surrounding tourism and mitigating visitor impacts in collaboration with lawmakers, the counties, state and federal agencies, and Island Chapters through the Destination Management Action Plans (DMAPs).

This inclusive planning process led by HTA involved government, community, industry and resident stakeholders who shared their insights and constructive feedback towards solutions. Their input is helping to shape a more balanced tourism future on their respective islands in the spirit of a regenerative tourism model.

The Destination Management Action Planning process has already resulted in positive actions being taken by HTA, the Island Chapters and the counties.

This includes providing visitors with tips on alleviating the traffic congestion on Maui’s Hāna Highway, supporting the newly launched GetAroundKauai.com website addressing the ongoing car rental shortage, and funding the Pololū Trail Steward Program on Hawai‘i Island.

The draft O‘ahu DMAP was presented to HTA’s Board of Directors at the July 29 board meeting.

Educating visitors, both pre- and post-arrival, is integral to our destination management efforts.

We were dismayed by the recent social media posts of illegal behavior toward the federally protected Hawaiian monk seals and honu by the visitors in the videos and photos. These actions are completely unacceptable!

In an effort to prevent these violations, HTA has stepped up its educational outreach, which includes the redistribution of a video that was created in partnership with the Department of Land and Natural Resources to educate visitors on how to respectfully view marine life from a safe distance.

As a reminder, people need to stay at least 10 feet away from sea turtles on land and in the ocean, 50 feet away from Hawaiian monk seals, 50 yards away from dolphins and 100 yards away from humpback whales. We have shared this video on HTA’s social media channels on Facebook and Instagram. We encourage everyone to share this video with your staff and guests, as well as family, friends and colleagues.

Finally, I encourage you to read on to learn more about HTA’s commitment to destination management and how it strengthens Hawai‘i’s future with a focus on regenerative tourism. There is much work to be done and I want to extend my gratitude and aloha to all of you for your support. Imua!
Hilo i ka ua Kanilehua. (ʻŌlelo Noʻeau #1000) 
Hilo of the Kanilehua rain. 
The Kanilehua rain, or the rain that patters in the lehua forest, is frequently referred to in the chants and songs of Hilo.  
Merrie Monarch Festival

Every spring since 1964, Hilo on the island of Hawaiʻi hosts the week-long Merrie Monarch Festival, a spectacular community-driven event showcasing Hawaiian culture and the world’s premiere hula competition. The event typically draws thousands of residents and visitors for the highly anticipated festivities each year, however, due to COVID-19 restrictions this year’s festival was scaled down and there was no public, in-person event to attend.

Instead, hālau hula gathered at Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium to perform their hula kahiko and ‘auana before a panel of judges with no crowds in the stands. While the energy of thousands may have been missing, the hula performances themselves were outstanding as always.

The Merrie Monarch Festival was recorded and broadcasted on Hawaiʻi News Now’s KFVE on July 1, 2 and 3 and streamed to a worldwide audience. To take in all the performances, visit www.hawaiinewsnow.com/merriemonarch.

It is a privilege to support this prestigious Hawaiian cultural event and we extend our congratulations to all of this year’s participants.
ʻIolani Palace Improvements Enhance its Beauty   

Last summer at this time, ‘Iolani Palace was challenged with a growing bee population within the palace’s exterior walls and a Coronation Pavilion in certain need of repair which took away from the beauty of this historic royal residence.

When learning about this last August, HTA reached out to The Friends of ʻIolani Palace to form a partnership that provided funding to help repair and restore the majestic grounds. The goal of the project was to expedite repairs to the palace facade and the Coronation Pavilion.

In that process, several pieces of the palace’s exterior walls were removed to successfully eradicate several old beehives. The impacted area was cleaned and repaired, which included sealing off the affected section and repainting it.

The Coronation Pavilion, which was also in bad shape with concrete spalling and rotting wood, required significant work as well. All affected areas were repaired with new concrete, and many of the rotted wood features of the pavilion were also carefully replaced with a fresh coat of paint applied and a new concrete topping poured on the floor.

This project has helped to ensure that staff and public are able to safely visit the ‘Iolani Palace grounds. The completion of the improvements also means the Coronation Pavilion is usable again. In the past, it was used for gubernatorial inaugurations, where memorable speeches were made, where weddings and special events were held, and where the Royal Hawaiian Band would play.

We look forward to seeing many great events taking place at the Coronation Pavilion and the palace grounds in the years to come.
Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau
Mālama Hawai‘i Campaign Educates Visitors
Pre- and Post-Arrival

Visitors headed to the Hawaiian Islands are being educated about being a mindful traveler through a media campaign supporting the Mālama Hawai‘i program that was launched in May and will continue through this month.

The campaign, which features island ambassadors sharing their personal stories about the importance of taking care of the ‘āina (land) and kai (ocean), is currently running on digital and social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, and has already amassed more than 22 million impressions through the first week of July. The initiative invites travelers to give back while on vacation and includes more than 100 travel industry partners and community organizations statewide that are enhancing a visitor’s experience.

Travel Is The Thing-To-Do This Summer

Three-quarters of American travelers will take at least one vacation or getaway over the next three months, while 15.3% will take a business trip and 7.5% will travel for a conference or convention. That’s according to Destination Analysts’ “COVID Tracker – Vaccination Status of U.S. Travelers” study which shows a growing confidence in travel as more Americans get vaccinated and travel restrictions continue to be relaxed making traversing the country more accessible.
Hawai‘i Tourism Japan
Spotlight on King Kamehameha Day and the Merrie Monarch Festival

To elevate awareness and appreciation for King Kamehameha Day and the Merrie Monarch Festival in the Japan market, Hawai‘i Tourism Japan (HTJ) issued two press releases in June which received significant editorial coverage in nearly 70 print, online and broadcast media outlets, including Nikkei MJ and Aloha Express.

News stories about Hawai‘i’s vaccination rate, tourism reopening, sustainability and local organizations also aired in June on nine television programs, including TV Tokyo and Yomiuri TV. HTJ assisted in getting these stories placed, in addition to securing an interview on “Saturday Station” (TV Asahi), a news and information program, with HTA President and CEO John De Fries who spoke about Hawaiʻi’s shift towards regenerative tourism. Additionally, NHK’s Chikyu Radio interviewed HTJ Country Director Mitsue Varley on HTA’s Mālama Hawaiʻi initiatives.

Supporting Hawai‘i’s Nonprofit Organizations

Along with public relations support, HTJ has been promoting local nonprofits as a part of its Support Hawaiʻi initiatives in June through its owned media and SNS messaging. HTJ featured the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace 55th anniversary virtual event, King Kamehameha Day celebration, and Merrie Monarch Festival, which generated a total audience reach of 3.3 million people.
More than 270 Japanese Aloha Program Members Attend Online Training

As the industry waits for Japan to loosen its travel restrictions for its residents, HTJ continued to engage Aloha Program members through its online education program holding two webinars on June 2. The sessions covering King Kamehameha Day and Hōkūleʻa were a success with more than 270 individuals attending the virtual training.

In conjunction with this, HTJ also created 38 travel trade features on its website focused on topics including Edu-Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals identified in Hawai‘i’s Aloha+ Challenge. This is part of the pre-arrival marketing education efforts to promote the concept of responsible travel to Hawai‘i in the Japan market.
Hawai‘i Tourism Canada
Fully Vaccinated Canadians No Longer Need to Quarantine as of July 5

New guidelines now allow fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents and certain foreign nationals to avoid staying in mandated quarantine hotels and
self-isolating for 14 days upon arrival in Canada. Travelers must have two doses of a vaccine approved by Canada, provide a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before arrival, take a second test upon arrival, and have a quarantine plan in the event the arrival test comes back positive.
WestJet To Expand Service to Hawai‘i

WestJet will significantly grow its Hawai‘i network featuring more Dreamliner flight options from Western Canada to Maui and new non-stop service from Calgary to Kona and Līhu‘e this winter. WestJet currently offers 57 weekly roundtrip flights on 10 nonstop routes between Canada and the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania
Keeping the Dream Alive 

While travel from Oceania to Hawai‘i is still restricted due to the pandemic, Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania continues to keep its 150,000+ social media audience engaged and dreaming of the Hawaiian Islands. Imagery and messaging that showcases nature, outdoor spaces, beauty and culture helps keep Hawai‘i at the top of the aspiration list for Aussies and Kiwis to visit when the borders reopen. During this phase, the promoted hashtag continues to be #DreamingOfHawaii.
World Vintage Rugby Carnival to Hawai‘i in May 2022 

Those unfamiliar with the Rugby Union and its rules may want to get a jump start on getting acquainted with the rules of the sport. That is because 1,000 rugby players and supporters will be heading to Hawai‘i next year.
The World Vintage Rugby Carnival, organized by New Zealand-based Golden Oldies Sports & Events Ltd., will host its tournament on O‘ahu from May 15-22, 2022, with
pre- and post-options for players and teams to visit the other islands. The majority of the participating teams will be from North America and Oceania, with some Hawai‘i-based teams joining the action as well.

More information to come later this year.
Hawai‘i Tourism Korea
Airlift Update

This September, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines will operate two charter flights each totaling nearly 1,400 seats from Incheon to Honolulu during Chuseok, Lunar Thanksgiving. Chuseok, which translates in Korean to “Autumn Eve,” also known as hangawi, is a major harvest festival and a three-day holiday in South Korea celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar on the full moon. Hawai‘i Tourism Korea (HTK) is also working with both airlines on their resumption plans to bring back their regularly scheduled flights to Hawai‘i later this year.

Consumer Activity  

In partnership with Caribbean Bay, the biggest water theme park in Korea, HTK is implementing a consumer co-op promotion conveying Mālama Hawai‘i. This includes an onsite consumer grand prize giveaway running through August 22 to increase engagement amongst active outdoor leisure lovers who have visited Caribbean Bay. Multiple banners are being displayed, educating potential visitors about the Hawaiian Islands and responsible travel with Mālama Hawai‘i messaging. They also include a QR code linking to the Mālama Hawai‘i videos for viewing. In addition, another online giveaway is being held on Caribbean Bay’s official website with the first prize sponsored by Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra.
 Mahalo from the HTA Team 
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