Aloha! One of the world’s most popular destinations has been struggling through Covid-19 to strike the right balance between its all-important island tourism economy and public policy that addresses its precious natural and cultural assets.
During the delta surge this summer, Gov. David Ige asked visitors not to come to Hawaii through October, and the tourism industry took a hit. Now, with holiday planning in mind, tourism leaders eagerly await an announcement expected from the governor this week on welcoming visitors back to the 50th state.
The HTA states that “Hawai‘i tourism is at a point that requires a re-balancing of priorities. The continuous drive to increase visitor numbers has taken its toll on our natural environment and people, the very reason visitors travel to our islands.”
Hawaii Tourism Authority’s new vision of “Mālama Ku‘u Home” (caring for my beloved home) is expressed through the principles of regenerative tourism. HTA’s objective is to help empower the community to have a greater voice in tourism’s future, with a focus on regenerating the environment, perpetuating the Hawaiian culture, recognizing Hawai‘i’s multi-ethnic cultures, and supporting responsible economic outcomes.
A recent reorganization of the HTA has allowed it to pivot to becoming a more effective destination management organization, which includes the July appointment of Kalani Kaanaana to the newly created position of Chief Brand Officer.
A major presentation, “Malama Kuu Home: An Update from the Hawaii Tourism Authority,” took place on Oct. 1, 2021 and provided information on the DMO’s vision, 2025 Strategic Plan and four interacting pillars:
- organizational changes
- implementation of the Destination Management Action Plans (DMAP)
- brand management efforts
- market insights
A PDF of the Hawaii Tourism Authority Strategic Plan 2020-2025 is found here.
The presentation shared details of recent efforts to address overcrowding and how community feedback is being incorporated into destination-specific management action plans.
About the Hawai’i Tourism Authority: Established in 1998 as the agency responsible for strategically managing support of the tourism industry, Hawai‘i’s leading industry and largest employer. HTA continually strives to help ensure tourism’s sustainability and the benefits it brings to residents and communities statewide.