Hawai‘i tourism leaders gathered for Travel Weekly’s Hawai‘i Leadership Forum at Sheraton Waikīkī on April 26. Hawai‘i Tourism Authority President and CEO John De Fries provided remarks on the organization’s renewed focus on Mālama Ku‘u Home (“caring for my beloved home”) and its efforts to holistically manage tourism for future generations.

Celebrations Set for 150th Anniversary of King Kamehameha Day

This year marks the 150th anniversary of King Kamehameha Day, which annually honors the legacy and history of Kamehameha I with celebrations statewide surrounding the official June 11 state holiday. Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA) is proud to support these celebrations through its Community Enrichment Program.

On December 22, 1871, Kamehameha V — born Lot Kapuāiwa, grandson of Kamehameha I — introduced and proclaimed Kamehameha Day as a holiday honoring his grandfather’s contributions to the Kingdom of Hawai‘i. While the people of Hawai‘i originally wanted to recognize Kamehameha V with a holiday on his own December 11th birthday, being a humble chief he expressed a desire to instead honor his grandfather and pushed the holiday as far out as possible. And so, June 11, 1872, was the first Kamehameha Day celebrated.

Organized by the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and guided by the King Kamehameha Celebration Commission, this year’s 150th anniversary celebration theme honors his name and impact, “E Ola Ka Inoa ‘O Kamehameha.” Associated events include Kamehameha Day traditions of lei-draping ceremonies, floral parades, cultural workshops and ho‘olaulea (celebrations) on Hawai‘i Island, Maui, Moloka‘i, O‘ahu and Kaua‘i. For more information, visit

In addition, the PA‘I Foundation will present Kana‘iaupuni — A Celebration of the Kamehameha Dynasty at Helumoa. Held at the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikīkī, festivities will include a two-day marketplace and ho‘olaulea, storefront floral displays, and cultural demonstrations like hula, oli (chant) and music performances celebrating Hawai‘i aliʻi (royalty) and their favorite past times. For more information, visit
DMAP Update: Enhanced App Supports Destination Management Efforts on Lāna‘i

In March, the Lānaʻi Culture and Heritage Center (Lānaʻi CHC) completed Action C of the Lānaʻi Destination Management Action Plan (DMAP), an action intended to, “Enhance and encourage the use of the Lānaʻi CHC’s Guide App as a primary part of the travel protocol for traveling to the island.”

As part of the initiative, Lānaʻi CHC identified and integrated funcionalities notifying users of appropriate and safe places to visit, and how to respect Lānaʻi’s land, people and lifestyle. HTA proudly supports the Lāna‘i CHC and its guide app enhancements as a way to uplift local businesses, protect natural resources and manage visitation islandwide.

The app was launched with a promotional video highlighting enhancements enjoyed by malihini and kamaʻāina, proving the app truly has something for everyone. To download the free Lānaʻi CHC’s Guide App, visit the Apple App Store or Google Play, or view the app website at

Aloha ʻĀina Program: Native Reforestation on Kaho‘olawe

Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC), and its Spreading Aloha ‘Āina through Community Engagement on Kaho‘olawe program, aims to provide opportunities for people to connect to the ‘āina (land) while simultaneously supporting and expanding current restoration efforts on the island. On 10 planned monthly access trips to Kaho‘olawe this year, volunteers and KIRC staff set a goal to plant a total of 5,000 native seedlings and two pounds of seeds by December. During each trip, volunteers and staff will also work to remove invasive species from upland planting areas and around the KIRC Base Camp to create spaces for the introduced native seedlings and seeds to flourish. For more information about the KIRC, visit
Kūkulu Ola Program: Restoring Cultural Connections through Lo‘i Kalo 

As part of its long-range plan to restore O‘ahu’s He‘eia wetlands, the community-based nonprofit organization Kāko‘o ‘Ōiwi is restoring three acres of lo‘i kalo and maintaining a 10-acre area of lo‘i systems through its Ho‘oulu Hoi program. The project educates the community about traditional Hawaiian farming and ahupua‘a-based land management practices through workshops focused on restoration, water systems, planting, and food preparation within the Hawaiian food system. The larger impact is the perpetuation of Hawaiian culture within our community. For more information, visit
HTA Ramps Up Visitor Education Efforts at Airports Statewide in Preparation for Increased Summer Travel
Travelers arriving at Hawai‘i’s gateway airports statewide are being greeted by newly launched Pono Travel Education messaging that shares the concept of mālama (“to care for”) and how to travel pono (responsibly, respectfully) while in Hawaiʻi. The initiative is part of HTA’s community-based Destination Management Action Plans and its comprehensive efforts to reach Hawai‘i visitors on every leg of their travel journey — from planning stages and transit through arrival and their entire stay.

HTA — in partnership with Hawai‘i Tourism USA, the State of Hawai‘i Department of Transportation Airports Division and other lead agencies — recently launched a collection of Pono Travel tips and safety messaging displays on static banners throughout airport facilities and revolving digital videos in the baggage claim and public areas at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, Līhu‘e Airport, Kahului Airport, Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keāhole, and Hilo International Airport. Keep an eye out for these during your summer travels, when more signage will be added as traveler numbers increase.

HTA’s Pono Travel Education messaging is also being shared on the popular navigation app Waze.
Strengthening Relationships and Coordination with Industry Partners

Throughout April, HTA’s staff and Global Marketing Team coordinated a series of meetings with visitor industry stakeholders to provide updates on the key major market areas of Japan, Korea, China, Canada and Oceania. The Global Marketing Team continues to meet virtually with group sales executives on each island, sharing updates on Meet Hawai‘i strategies building and fostering a strong pipeline of citywide and Hawai‘i Convention Center business resulting in meaningful benefits for our statewide community.
Global MCI
Meet Hawai‘i and IHVB Host Meetings Today LIVE! on Hawai‘i Island

Meet Hawai‘i and the Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau (IHVB) partnered with meetings and events industry news source Meetings Today to sponsor its second annual Meetings Today LIVE! event on the island of Hawai‘i from April 26-29. A total of 19 pre-qualified, fully hosted meeting planners from the continental U.S. considering Hawai‘i for a future meeting attended the event. Planners were offered one-on-one appointments with multiple hotel partners, destination management companies and activity companies. Meet Hawai‘i provided an educational session for CEU credit, “How to Embrace a Destination’s Culture to Create An Enriching Meeting Program,” presented by Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau Senior Director of Brand Kainoa Daines, which focused on the Hawaiian culture and the industry’s sustainability message. The Westin Hāpuna Beach Resort hosted hotel rooms for the meeting planners and sponsored an opening night reception with County of Hawai‘i Mayor Mitch Roth. Mauna Kea Resort hosted the event’s closing reception. Lunches were sponsored by the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel and Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa, with dinners sponsored by Hilton Waikoloa Village and Fairmont Orchid.

The Meetings Today LIVE! event also included a final full day of mālama-focused activities led by cultural advisor Micah Kamohoali‘i beginning with an educational session at Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site. The group’s next stop was a Mālama Hawai‘i Earth Day beach cleanup at ʻŌhaiʻula (Spencer Beach Park) in Kawaihae where they met with representatives of community-based organizations to learn about the importance of mālama. On the afternoon of their final day, the planners visited the Hōkū‘ula Marketplace, supporting 14 local merchants selling made-on-Hawai‘i Island products. At the end of the day, every attendee signed the island of Hawai‘i Pono Pledge.
Meet Hawai‘i Networks at Cvent CONNECT

Meet Hawai‘i networked with more than 1,000 U.S. meeting planners at the annual Cvent CONNECT conference, April 11-13, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference also offered Meet Hawai‘i an opportunity to meet one-on-one with more than 20 accounts considering booking Hawai‘i for a future event. Cvent CONNECT brings together meetings, events and hospitality professionals to evolve and inspire their meetings and event programs.
Corporate Event Marketers Convene in Waikīkī

Meet Hawai‘i and the Waikīkī Beach Marriott Resort and Spa hosted the Corporate Event Marketing Association’s (CEMA) board of directors meeting from April 4-6, marking the association’s first-ever board meeting in Hawai‘i. CEMA is a thriving community of corporate event marketers, clients and partners promoting professional networking opportunities, industry education, peer-to-peer exchange of knowledge and best practices while driving industry standards. In addition to its overall business responsibilities to the association and its members, the CEMA board is influential in guiding and endorsing destinations, venues and brands in the corporate events space.
Hawai‘i Tourism USA
HTUSA Hosts Cultural Webinar to Educate Media

On April 8, 2022, HTUSA kicked off its Spring Virtual Media Blitz with an insightful Cultural Webinar that demonstrated why it is important for travelers to mālama our people, place and culture, and why media should advocate these messages when covering our islands. Media first heard about HTA’s approach to regenerative tourism from President and CEO John De Fries. Then in two panel discussions moderated by HTUSA Senior Brand Director Kainoa Daines, five community leaders and cultural practitioners from the Community Enrichment, Kūkulu Ola and Aloha ʻĀina programs discussed the meaning of aloha ʻāina and moʻomeheu Hawaiʻi as understood from a Native Hawaiian lens; the concept of mālama as a guiding principle that inherently implies a sense of kuleana to handle ʻike Hawaiʻi authentically and respectfully; and guidance for media partners to help carry that kuleana in their own work.

Participating panelists were appreciative of the platform created to share important cultural insights with media directly – an experience which wouldn’t have otherwise been possible. Attending media came away inspired with a newfound appreciation for, and understanding of, the responsibility and privilege we all share in educating visitors about traveling mindfully and ensuring the stories shared of the Hawaiian Islands are represented appropriately and authentically.

Pictured in the photo above, clockwise from top left: Moderator Kainoa Daines (HTUSA); Panelists: Vicky Holt-Takamine, PAʻI Foundation (CEP awardee); Shelly Preza, Lānaʻi Culture & Heritage Center (CEP, Aloha ‘Āina awardee); N. Haʻalilio Solomon, Kealakai Center for Pacific Strings (Kūkulu Ola awardee). Panelists not pictured: Cheryl Ka‘uhane Lupenui, The Kohala Center (Aloha ‘Āina awardee); and Viliami Tukuafu, Ma Ka Hana Ka ‘Ike (Aloha ‘Āina awardee).
HTUSA Films Eight New Hawai‘i Nonprofit-focused Videos Supporting HTA DMAP

Hawai‘i Tourism USA (HTUSA) recently organized a production shoot for eight new videos and related assets for community-based organizations supported by HTA. In addition to sharing how they are successfully addressing tourism-related challenges in an effort to mālama i ku‘u home (“care for our beloved home”) and perpetuate Hawaiʻi’s natural and cultural resources, many of the organizations also voiced their support of HTA’s Destination Management Action Plans (DMAPs). The goal of each county’s DMAP is to rebuild, redefine and reset tourism for Hawai‘i’s communities as envisioned and led by the communities of each island. The videos share how the selected nonprofit organizations work with Hawai‘i residents and visitors from the continental U.S. to accomplish their respective missions.

The first of the new videos, spotlighting Mālama Maunalua and its efforts to restore east O‘ahu’s Maunalua Bay with HTA support, was launched via paid social and digital media. The campaign’s seven other videos and assets will follow in a rolling launch to include promotion via social media on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube; digital video and displays; and sponsored news articles. Interviews for locally produced TV program HI Now were pre-recorded, with the first segment airing on Hawaiʻi News Now during Merrie Monarch Festival weekend in April.

Upcoming videos in the campaign will feature Mālama I Nā Honu (Oʻahu), 808 Cleanups (Oʻahu), Kipuka Olowalu (Maui), Hanalei Initiative/Hā‘ena State Park (Kauaʻi), Lāna‘i Culture and Heritage Center (Lāna‘i), Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative (island of Hawaiʻi), and Kupu/Pololū Valley Stewardship Program (island of Hawaiʻi).
Traveler COVID-19 Fears for 2022 Travel Continue to Recede

According to the latest tracking study of American travelers from market research firm Longwoods International, the recent increase in coronavirus cases nationally has not deterred travel planning for 2022. Only 19 percent of travelers indicated that COVID-19 would greatly impact their travel decisions in the next six months — the lowest the percentage has been since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic more than two years ago.
Source: Longwoods Travel Sentiment Study Wave 60
Hawai‘i Tourism Japan
Japanese Celebrity Rola Participates in Mālama Hawai‘i-Based Activities

On Earth Day, April 22, Hawai‘i Tourism Japan (HTJ) appointed Rola — a well-known Japan and global celebrity actively promoting her sustainable lifestyle on social networking services and YouTube — as its newest Mālama Hawaiʻi ambassador. On her visits to O‘ahu and Kaua‘i, Rola was invited by HTJ to experience Mālama Hawaiʻi efforts firsthand. An Instagram Live was conducted on the day of Rola’s ambassadorship announcement, generating more than 125,000 views and 50,000 impressions.
HTJ Hosts Travel Trade Press Tour Focused on Mālama Hawai‘i

HTJ conducted a travel trade media press tour on O‘ahu, from April 6-8, centered on the theme of Mālama Hawaiʻi. Representatives from four media outlets participated in O‘ahu environmental nonprofit Mālama Maunalua’s Huki project, removing invasive algae from Maunalua Bay and visiting Hanauma Bay to learn about the park’s new reservation system and efforts to preserve the bay’s environment. The group also visited Sea Life Park Hawaiʻi to learn about its efforts protecting marine life and rescuing sea birds, participated in an Aloha ʻĀina Tour at Kualoa Ranch, engaged in nonprofit Sustainable Coast Lines Hawaiʻi and environmental platform Parley missions and activities, and learned about Bishop Museum’s sustainable efforts. Media exposure generated from the press tour had an estimated worth of $46,137,000.
HTJ Partners with LOTTE and Hawai‘i Designer on Launch of Popular Sweet Treats in Japan

LOTTE's popular choco pie and custard cake sweet treats went on sale in Japan on April 12 as products certified by HTJ. A total 3.61 million units of the products will be sold nationwide until the end of September carrying the message of Mālama Hawaiʻi on the back of their packages. Illustrations on the package design of the four LOTTE items being sold were the result of a collaboration with Hawai‘i designer Jana Lam. A campaign on Twitter commemorating the launch generated 12,732 applications (retweets), 486,804 impressions and more than 2,000 comments.
Special Screenings of “Moananuiākea” Documentary Now Showing in Japan Sister Cities

HTJ recently launched a two-month slate of screenings of the documentary film “Moananuiākea” in sister cities throughout Japan. Following a debut screening in Tokyo on May 21, showings of the film, which follows the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa on its Mālama Honua worldwide voyage, were slated to continue through June in Tokyo, Nagoya and Chigasaki. A panel discussion with Hōkūleʻa crew members was held prior to the show. Donations made at the event from those in attendance will be made to the Polynesian Voyaging Society to help raise awareness of Hōkūleʻa and the Mālama Honua (“Taking Care of Island Earth”) mission. An advertisement post was also placed on social network sites, generating 35,385 impressions and a reach of 26,944.
Hawai‘i Tourism Canada
Mālama Hawai‘i Program Discussed at Responsible Travel & Tourism Webinar

HTA’s Chief Brand Officer, Kalani Ka‘anā‘anā, participated in a Baxter Media, Trees4Travel and Green Step Responsible Travel and Tourism webinar on April 7 to talk about the Mālama Hawai‘i program and how responsible tourism is part of what the world needs to heal.

Said Kalani, “I always say Hawai‘i is a mirror. What I mean by that is if you come to Hawai‘i with humility, respect and aloha, you’ll get that (back) tenfold. If you come with anything other than that, you won’t get aloha (in return) … For us, it’s really (about) how do you approach a place? What kind of intent do you have when you travel?”

As part of a monthly campaign currently running with Baxter Media, a Hawai‘i article was featured in the Mālama Hawai‘i program and Kalani was interviewed by the editor of Travel Courier magazine to speak in-depth about efforts HTA, Hawai‘i Tourism Canada and the Global Marketing Team are undertaking to promote responsible tourism in the Islands.
French-Canadian Travelers and Travel Advisors Introduced to Hawai‘i and Mālama Hawai‘i 

Since the announcement of nonstop flights between Montréal and Honolulu, Hawai‘i Tourism Canada (HTCAN) has been focusing on public relations and the travel trade with a mission of educating the French-Canadian travel market about Hawai‘i as a destination, and the meaning of mālama and the aloha spirit.

On April 28, Club Voyages — a partner agency of travel agency network Transat, hosted a special training webinar for its travel advisors conducted by HTCAN’s Quebec representative, Renée Wilson. Nearly 50 travel advisors participated in the webinar, which was recorded and will be made available online for Club Voyages travel advisors unable to attend. The training webinar offered travel advisors an introduction to the Hawaiian Islands and the Mālama Hawai‘i program.
Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania
HTO Hosts Australian Travel Industry FAM Visit

Hawai‘i Tourism Oceania (HTO) partnered with Outrigger Hotels and Resorts and Hawaiian Airlines on an Australian travel industry familiarization visit in April aimed at helping relaunch the Outrigger Reef Waikīkī Beach Resort following the completion of major renovations.

During their O‘ahu visit, attendees participated in site inspection tours of all Outrigger properties on the island, enjoyed some aloha hospitality and attended the hotel’s property showcasing relaunch event. Attendees also enjoyed experiencing popular O‘ahu attractions and activities, including Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve’s Mālama ka ‘āina tour, ‘Iolani Palace and Pearl Harbor National Memorial. The experiences provided HTO an opportunity to share Hawai‘i’s history and culture, and the meaning and importance of mālama, with its travel industry guests.
Lei Celebration Webinar Offered to Australia and New Zealand Travel Advisors

HTO hosted a virtual celebration webinar to kickoff May’s “Month of Lei” celebration, partnering with the Kaua’i, O‘ahu, Maui and Island of Hawaiʻi Island Chapter visitor bureaus. The webinar was attended by travel advisors from across Australia and New Zealand and included HTO and Island Chapter representatives sharing destination updates and insights, and announcing a September incentive familiarization trip, in partnership with Hawaiian Airlines.

HTA Brand Manager Maka Casson-Fisher opened the webinar with an oli, hosted an interactive session showcasing the meaning of lei, and introduced webinar participants to the Hawaiian language.

An encouraging post-webinar survey revealed the Hawaiian culture session received the most positive feedback from the Australian and New Zealand travel agents in attendance.
HTO Shares Message of Mālama and Mindful Travel at Virtuoso Forum

HTO shared information on the Mālama Hawai‘i initiative and provided destination updates to more than 130 owners, managers and partners of travel advisors Virtuoso at the Virtuoso Forum in Adelaide, May 9 and 10. The HTO team met in-person with forum attendees, partnering with Hawaiian Airlines and Halekulani Hotel to encourage mindful travel to the Hawaiian Islands and visiting with mālama in mind.
Hawai‘i Tourism China
Hawaiʻi Tourism China Launches WeChat
Mini-Program Beta

In April, Hawai‘i Tourism China (HTC) launched a beta version of its highly anticipated B2C WeChat Mini-Program. WeChat has been described as China's "app for everything" and a "super app" due to its wide range of functions and high daily usage. It became the world's largest standalone mobile app in 2018, currently claims more than 1.2 billion monthly active users worldwide, and offers multiple ways for its users to communicate, including text, broadcast, video games and mini-programs.

WeChat mini-programs are sub-applications within the WeChat ecosystem. As of 2021, there were more than 4.3 million WeChat mini-programs drawing more than 410 million daily active users.

HTC’s B2C WeChat mini-program was designed in alignment with the GoHawai‘i user interface and brand identity. Its main functions include providing recommended itineraries, featured attractions, upcoming local festivals and events, map navigation, featured videos, featured natural resources and wildlife, history and culture. HTC will continue to translate and curate more contents in its WeChat mini-program.
HTC and U.S. Embassy Beijing Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

In support of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, HTC partnered with the Commercial Service of the U.S. Embassy Beijing on a social media initiative running throughout May. As part of the partnership, the U.S. Embassy and HTC will jointly post content sharing Hawaiʻi’s history, people, arts and culture in a series of 20 posts on the Embassy’s official Weibo account, which has more than 3 million followers.
HTC Conducts Educational Training Sessions for Tour Guides and Ground Operators

HTC conducted its first ground operator and tour guide training sessions on May 19. The initial training session covered HTC’s destination management efforts, including its social media strategy, the Mālama Hawai‘i campaign, Kuleana/Travel Tips, and Sensitive Destinations and Activities List.
Hawai‘i Tourism Korea
HTA Partnership with LPGA LOTTE Championship Delivers Positive Results for Hawai‘i in Korea

Golf fans in Korea were delighted by Korean golfer Hyo Joo Kim's big win at the 2022 LPGA LOTTE Championship tournament on O‘ahu in April.

In support of the LPGA Tournament being held in Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Tourism Korea (HTK) visited the tournament’s host Hoakalei Country Club with Asiana’s travel trade CEO FAM participants to watch the tournament. With Hyo Joo Kim’s fifth LPGA career title win at the tournament, a huge amount of organic media coverage on her — and Hawai‘i — was generated in Korea. More than 2,000 media articles and broadcast items were generated, equivalent to over $3 million in exposure value. The news of her win was covered by major broadcasting stations JTBC, YTN, SBS and MBC, as well as newspapers Chosun Ilbo, Donga, JoongAng, Hankyoreh, Maeil Economic Daily, Sports Chosun, Sports Donga, Herald Economic Daily and Golf Times. JTBC Golf, which televised the 2022 LPGA LOTTE Championship, reported news of Hyo Joo Kim’s win in depth.

To promote HTA’s partnership with LPGA, HTK issued a press release and shared the story of the partnership in its bimonthly B2C e-newsletter. HTK also introduced an LPGA video clip on its official social media channels featuring golfers participating in a
mālama-focused tree-planting activity at Kualoa Ranch. In addition, HTK held a consumer quiz event on HTK’s Instagram channel to celebrate HTA’s partnership with the 2022 LPGA LOTTE Championship in Hawai‘i.
HTK Partners with Mode Tour in Development of Regenerative Experiences Tour Products

HTK recently supported Mode Tour in developing tour products focused on regenerative experiences, including information on hotels with sustainable initiatives and highlighted details helping customers make sustainable choices. Included in the Korea-based travel agency’s product options was Kualoa Ranch’s Mālama Hawai‘i experience. Within the first hour of its launch, Mode Tour’s promotion generated more than 1,500 calls, 190 of which were converted to actual reservations. Total bookings included 56 for the promotion’s Mālama experience at Kualoa Ranch.
HTK Hosts Hawai‘i Booth at City Forestival Wellness Event

HTK participated in City Forestival, a wellness event held on Nodeul Island in Yeouido, Seoul, from May 21 to 22. Targeting mindful MZ (Millenial and Gen Z generation) consumers, HTK ran a Mālama Hawai‘i-branded booth at the festival introducing and educating potential Hawai‘i visitors on traveling mindfully in the Islands. HTA official videos featuring Kuleana/Hawai‘i Travel Tips and Mālama Hawai‘i were screened at HTK’s booth. HTK also hosted a quiz event based on topics referencing Mālama Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Travel Tips, Made in Hawai‘i, and community-based festivals, with an aim of introducing newer aspects of the Hawaiian Islands. In addition, HTK distributed 500 reef-safe sunscreen samples from Little Hands Hawai‘i as event prizes.
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