Message From HTA President and CEO John De Fries
Aloha kākou,
Heading into the second quarter of the year, we are cautiously optimistic about the road ahead for Hawai‘i’s regenerative tourism future. All signs show that we are moving into the stabilization phase of this pandemic, with increasing growth in travel confidence and our key international markets relaxing their measures.
Next week Hawai‘i will be hosting a delegation from the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA), which will bring together major travel companies, our industry partners and trade media partners from Japan, to discuss the opportunities and challenges ahead in reopening our largest international market. Read on below for more information and other market highlights.
Our team remains focused on implementing the Destination Management Action Plans with communities on each island, continuing to educate travelers about the responsibility they share with our residents to Mālama Ku‘u Home, and building a sustainable pipeline of meetings, conventions and incentives business for the years ahead.
Mahalo for your continued support,
John De Fries
President & CEO
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority
Ke Aliʻi Makaʻāinana (The Citizen Prince)

Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole is revered for his endless efforts preserving and strengthening the Hawaiian people. Born on March 26, 1871, he was appointed to the Kingdom of Hawai‘i’s royal cabinet by his uncle King Kalākaua, became a delegate of the United States Congress, and spearheaded the passage of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act. He also restored the Royal Order of Kamehameha I and the Hawaiian Civic Club. The prince’s honorific title “Ke Aliʻi Makaʻāinana” spoke to his character — as he was always for the people — and the legacy he left behind. In recognition of Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole and all who have dedicated their lives for the benefit of the people of Hawaiʻi, it is with humility that we continue to ʻauamo this kuleana (“uphold this responsibility”) today in our capacity.
HTA + NaHHA: Partners in Perpetuation

We at the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) are immensely grateful to those in the community who have worked to protect the Hawaiian language over the years, to ensure our language and the knowledge deeply engrained within it continue to shed light on the authentic beauty of our home and its people. We extend our gratitude to the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association (NaHHA) for its continued partnership in seeking ways to ensure genuine Hawaiian hospitality remains a unique experience to Hawaiʻi. We’ve reached a moment in time where both the people of Hawaiʻi and those visiting are ready to engage in what Hawaiʻi and mālama truly are.

“Visitors want to truly experience the places that they visit. They want to learn before they arrive,” said Hawai‘i Tourism Authority Public Affairs Officer Ilihia Gionson.

Ilihia believes our malihini (guests) want to give back when they visit, a practice at the foundation of true hoʻokipa (Hawaiian hospitality) — a goal of NaHHA since its inception — and, in many ways, what regenerative tourism is.

“By working with partners like NaHHA and our grassroots partners through programs like Kūkulu Ola and Aloha ʻĀina, we will deliver on our goals for the good of Hawaiʻi,” said Ilihia.

Watch the following video and visit the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s social media sites for more highlights of our commitment to ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.
Laʻiʻōpua 2020 Awarded Funding by Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority to Perpetuate Hawaiian Culture

Giving back to the ahupuaʻa of Kealakehe and its community on Hawai‘i Island is a goal of Laʻiʻōpua 2020 also supported by HTA through our Kūkulu Ola program. The name Kūkulu Ola loosely translates as “establishing or building life.” More significantly, the program encourages solidifying identity through the Hawaiʻi way of life by way of community leadership.

Laʻiʻōpua’s “Ola ka Lāhui” programming, which translates to “The Nation Lives On,” reflects their intent to share ʻike (knowledge) and moʻolelo (stories) that will live on through future leaders.

“We are excited to be an awardee of Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s Kūkulu Ola Program and we look forward to sharing the mana‘o and traditions of our island families with the broader community and our visitors,” said Kawehi Inaba, executive director of Laʻiʻōpua 2020. “It is gratifying to know we are perpetuating our culture through the filming, airing and storing of the talk story sessions, and that generations to come will watch and learn from today’s island treasures.”

Laʻiʻōpua’s first “Ola ka Lāhui” event was held on March 26, Prince Kūhiō Day. For more information, please see the event’s press release.
As Hawai‘i and the rest of the world turn the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaiʻi (STAH) is hitting the road full speed with a mission of protecting Hawai‘i’s unique natural environment and host culture through the promotion of responsible travel for residents, businesses and visitors.

STAH focuses on three programs — Sustainable Tour Operator Certification, Tour Operator/Tour Guide Training and Educational Outreach/Partnership Development — and is currently recertifying 35 companies and bringing on five additional ones. All training is moving to STAH’s new online platform, which also ties into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) network. Also in the works is a 10-step program aiming to engage more companies by deploying easier access to STAH’s certification process.

HTA’s partnership with STAH continues to be an exciting journey and we’re excited to see who else will join us on our move toward sustainable and environmental consciousness.
Sharing Deeper Hawai‘i Stories Through the DMAPs 

As travel ramps up for spring break and we head into summer, HTA’s teams are supporting Hawaiʻi’s needs by targeting messaging to our guests at different points as the create their travel plans, offering tips on how they can visit safely and mindfully. Our communities on each island are moving forward with individual Destination Management Action Plan (DMAP) action items to address the needs of their hometowns. These include sharing messaging pre-arrival through post-arrival, online and on the ground at airport and harbor facilities, as well as at events in key market areas.

You may have seen our new educational videos while online or checking your social media accounts recently. That’s because the Hawai‘i Tourism USA (HTUSA) team is hard at work amplifying compelling stories about the holomua (progress) of our DMAPs. Destination management is a kuleana we share with partners from multiple sectors and is led by community. To highlight these efforts, HTUSA is working with individuals involved with HTA’s Community Enrichment, Kūkulu Ola and Aloha ʻĀina programs to share their stories of inspiration with the traveling public. The goal of this is a shared sense of mālama to this place and the people who call it home.

See other projects HTUSA and our entire Global Marketing Team have been working on below.
Hawai‘i Tourism USA
Travel Weekly’s Hawai‘i Loves Travel Advisors Virtual Event Draws Over 1,400 Attendees

Hawai‘i Tourism USA (HTUSA) was a co-sponsor of the Hawai‘i Loves Travel Advisors virtual expo, hosted by Travel Weekly on February 16, which drew 1,422 unique visitors. As part of its sponsorship, HTUSA presented a webinar educating 720 travel advisors and also including a review of Hawai‘i’s travel protocols, island overviews and four Mālama Hawai‘i ambassador videos highlighting how advisor clients could enjoy a more meaningful travel experience when they mālama our islands. HTUSA’s virtual booth attracted 620 unique visitors accessing more than 2,000 resources, including links to the mālama page on
Hawai‘i Tourism Japan
Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi Celebrates 10-year Anniversary by Sharing Hawaiian Language

With February being the 10-year anniversary of Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, Hawaiʻi Tourism Japan (HTJ) utilized multiple online platforms to share the importance of Hawaiian-language messaging to the Japan market. ʻŌlelo noʻeau (Hawaiian proverbs) were introduced daily on popular Japan social media platforms and followed by a quiz. The campaign’s 56 posts earned 1.1 million impressions, with an average reach per post of 550,000 users.

A media release celebrating the 10th anniversary earned nearly 41 million impressions. A special web seminar conducted every Saturday in February drew 2,793 participants, all of whom stated their wish to continue learning ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi and more about Hawaiian culture through the language.
Preparation Underway for JATA Delegation and Trade Media Press Tour

HTJ is preparing for the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) Hawaiʻi delegation and Trade Media Press Tour, set for April 3-8 in Hawai‘i. Eighteen executives from major travel companies will be joining a discussion with Hawai‘i’s officials about the roadmap for resuming travel between Hawaiʻi and Japan, strengthening the Hawai‘i-Japan relationship, and practicing regenerative tourism.

During their stay, our trade media partners — Wing Travel, Travel Watch, Travel Voice and Travel Vision — will be engaging in activities to give back to the land and community while engaging in Hawaiʻi’s culture and values. These volunteer experiences and site visits are a part of Mālama Hawai‘i, the overall theme of this year’s event and future travel.
Japan Border Measures Relaxed

On March 1, the Japanese government relaxed border measures, raising the maximum number of new entrants to the country per day from 3,500 to 5,000 and then to 7,000 on March 14. Conditions for foreign nationals from countries other than designated countries/regions have also been mitigated..

With Hawaiʻi lifted from Japan’s list of designated countries/regions, a requirement to quarantine at designated facilities no longer exists, though conditions differ depending on status of booster vaccinations. If not vaccinated, travelers should have a negative test result taken within 72 hours prior to leaving Hawaiʻi and a negative test result at the time of arrival in Japan to bypass quarantine.

With motivation to travel to and from Japan seemingly increasing, HTJ will continue to update its COVID-19 information site.
Hawai‘i Tourism Canada
Canada Loosens COVID-19 Border Measures 

Fully vaccinated travelers are no longer required to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result to enter Canada and rapid-antigen test results are now accepted — though not those from self-administered, at-home tests. In addition, unvaccinated children under age 12 are no longer required to self-isolate upon arrival in Canada.
HTCAN Launches Hawai‘i Campaign with Baxter Media

Hawai‘i Tourism Canada (HTCAN) is partnering with Baxter Media on a campaign featuring an article on Hawaiʻi each month this year in Travel Courier magazine, including a cover. Themes proposed for each month’s article vary but will be aimed at highlighting Hawaiian culture, the Mālama Hawai‘i program, Hawai‘i festivals and events, and each of the Hawaiian Islands. Baxter Media is one of Canada’s most prominent travel trade media groups.
Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania
The populations of both Australia and New Zealand are now 94% fully vaccinated and international travel requirements for Australia are comprised of only a PCR or rapid antigen test before departure and before returning to the country. No further testing or isolation is required. Still, a current surge of the omicron variant of the coronavirus in New Zealand is putting pressure on consumer services.
HTO Presents at Personal Travel Managers State Meeting Melbourne

On February 28, the Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania (HTO) team attended the Personal Travel Managers (PTM) State Meeting Melbourne alongside more than 60 personal travel managers attending in person for the first time in over two years. HTO shared the Mālama Hawaiʻi initiative and an update from each island at the meeting, where agents — boosted by knowledge and awareness from the meeting — next connected with clients and confirmed Hawai‘i bookings. HTO partnered with PTM to present in Australia’s three major cities: Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.
All Things Hawai‘i Shared at International Media Marketplace

Also held in February, the International Media Marketplace brought 320 media and industry PR professionals together in Sydney, offering an ideal opportunity to meet with journalists and editors as well as share all things Hawai‘i. Public Relations Executive Anna Riedel and Trade and Partnerships Manager Kris Phadungkiatipong met with 22 journalists and media professionals at the event who were extremely interested in producing stories about responsible travel.
HTO Hosts Photo Booth at Mardi Gras Fair Day

Take a look at these fun photos from Mardi Gras Fair Day and the photo booth HTO put together with Prince Waikiki and Sheraton Waikiki. The booth was created for a contest designed to raise LGBTQIA+ community excitement about visiting the Hawaiian Islands. The event was held in Sydney on February 20.
Hawai‘i Tourism China
Earlier this year, Hawaiʻi Tourism China (HTC) invited industry partners — including air carriers, online travel agencies and Brand USA representatives totaling 15 VIP key stakeholder guests — to attend and support “The Story of Pele” show organized by Hawai‘i Culture and Art Center in Shanghai. HTC presented the show’s introduction and showcased HTA’s Mālama Hawaiʻi videos to more than 200 guests in attendance. HTC continues to share Mālama Hawaiʻi videos via its social media platforms on WeChat, Weibo, Little Red Book and Douyin, along with exciting events and opportunities such as the Lunar New Year and Community Enrichment programs. HTC’s posts earned approximately 1.6 million impressions and more than 114,000 interactions.

Looking ahead, Hawaiʻi Tourism China is developing a WeChat mini-program for the Hawaiian Islands containing content from and translated for and tailored to Chinese consumers. WeChat boasts more than 1.26 billion monthly active users — 20 million of them in the United States.
Hawai‘i Tourism Korea
Earlier this year, Hawaiʻi Tourism Korea (HTK) launched a social campaign showcasing Mālama Hawai‘i activities on O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island and ultimately recorded nearly 22,000 organic impressions. The team’s new campaign, #OnoHawaii, promotes Made in Hawai‘i products to Korean millennial and Z generations through a culinary experience featuring Kona-coffee chocolate products, acai bowls, Kua‘Aina Sandwich items and barbecue corn.

HTK is also preparing a CEO familiarization (FAM) tour for top travel agencies and a group influencer FAM tour coinciding with the resumption of Asiana Airline flights to Hawaiʻi in April. A total of 10 travel agents and an Asiana Airline general manager will visit O‘ahu to experience Mālama Hawai‘i first-hand. Six influencers will visit O‘ahu and Maui to drive social buzz inspiring Korean travelers to keep Hawai‘i their No. 1 go-to travel destination after the pandemic and emphasize the state’s cleanliness, safety, natural resources and sustainable-tourism efforts.
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