First and foremost, at the time of writing, there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hawai'i. Six individuals have been tested for the coronavirus and all tests have come back negative. There are also 72 individuals who are currently self-monitoring at home with Department of Health supervision. Of these individuals, 65 are on O'ahu, two are on Hawai'i Island, three are on Maui, and two are on Kaua'i.
As you may have heard or read in the media, Governor David Ige has now issued an emergency proclamation in response to the threat of COVID-19 in Hawai'i. It is our position that the proclamation was the appropriate, emergency preparedness step that was taken to ensure that the State could act quickly and efficiently to access funding and support should an outbreak occur in Hawai'i. It must also be noted that the mayors in each county of Hawai'i have issued similar proclamations.
In the meantime, lodging industry stakeholders are continuing to meet and collaborate with State officials to ensure that we are well-aware of any updates to the situation. We continue to emphasize that Hawai'i is a safe place to visit and we are still very much open for business. The main thing at this time is to remain calm and to be proactive in our preparations for a possible future outbreak. This is not a time for panic, nor is it a time for complacency.
"Gov. Ige declares state of emergency after death of passenger on cruise ship that visited Hawaii," Honolulu Star-Advertiser, March 5, 2020
"Fear of travel heightens amid virus outbreak," KHON2, March 4, 2020
Visitor Public Safety Conference
Hawai'i Hotel & Restaurant Show
3rd Annual Visitor Public Safety Conference
In partnership with Hawai'i Tourism Authority, the Waikiki Improvement Association, the Waikiki Business Improvement District Association, and the Hawai'i Hotel Visitor Industry Security Association, HLTA is pleased to announce our 3rd annual Visitor Public Safety Conference. This year's slate of distinguished speakers will again feature Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard and will also include United States Attorney for the District of Hawai'i Kenji Price, Attorney General of Hawai'i Clare Connors, and Acting City Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto.
In years past, we have enjoyed a great deal of success with this event as it brings together various public safety stakeholders in a way that allows them to talk story and really drill down to the heart of issues that affect our community. In the past, takeaways from this event have led to major headway in areas including the late night cabaret establishments in Waikiki, the need for more surveillance cameras throughout Waikiki, and major funding assistance for HPD’s homelessness efforts in Chinatown. I am certain that this year's event will surely yield similar results.
What: 3rd annual Visitor Public Safety Conference
Where: Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa
When: March 16, 2020
7:30 a.m. registration and breakfast
8 a.m. - 12 noon: Program
Our program this year will focus on a variety of subjects including sex trafficking, gun laws, prosecutorial methods and standards, as well as mental health and the homeless. This event is free and I can't wait to see you there.
Hawai'i Hotel & Restaurant Show
HLTA's HYPE committee has announced their next big event. Sponsored by The Honolulu Star-Advertiser, this event will host a leadership skills panel that will include Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort and Outrigger Waikiki Beach Area General Manager Kelly Hoen, Duke's Waikiki General Manager Keli'i Gouveia, and Briant808 Principal and former Nordstrom Store Manager Brian Tatsumura. The panel will be moderated by Lisa Yamada-Son who leads workforce development for A-1 A-Lectrician and is the former Chief Creative Officer and Partner at NMG Network.
This is a wonderfully diverse panel who will undoubtedly share their best leadership practices and methods. This is not an event you should miss.
The Hawai'i Tourism Authority has, in recent months, put together various video campaigns that simultaneously share local stories while also educating visitors about the diversity that our home has to offer. Their most recent playlist, Hawai'i Rooted, follows chefs, Hawaiian culture experts, athletes, kumu hula, and more as they share their own personal versions of Hawai'i.
In the video above, Pūlama Lāna‘i and Four Seasons Resort Lāna‘i Cultural Liaison Anela Evans is featured as she shares the impetuses and histories that she brings to her day to day job. There are 17 videos currently on the playlist and they are all worth a watch.
Tourism Day 2020
Mahalo to each and every one of you who had a hand in making this year's Tourism Day a standout success! We had record attendance numbers for both our visitors as well as our exhibitors. Sixty-eight organizations from all corners of Hawai'i's tourism sector manned 80 different booths on the fourth floor of the Hawai'i State Capitol and really showed the diversity that our industry has to offer. It was a sight to see so many of our legislators who attended Tourism Day during their recess interacting with our exhibitors.
A special mahalo to Duke's Waikiki and ABC Store for providing breakfast and bentos for all those who participated in Tourism Day as well as to HTA and HVCB for their collaborative partnership!
Hawai'i Hotel & Restaurant Show
MidWeek ran a wonderful article covering my bud, Shep Gordon, the man who shaped what we know today as Hawaiian cultural cuisine, that spotlights the key role he will be playing in this year's Hawai'i Hotel & Restaurant Show. Not only will he serve as our featured speaker, he will also be hosting a live auction for a private dinner for up to eight people. The meal will be hosted at Shep's home and will be created by Chef Roy Yamaguchi. Proceeds will benefit the scholarship funds of HLTA and the Hawai'i Restaurant Association. This is something you don’t want to miss out on!
Charity Walk Annual Report
Last year, I made an effort to visit many of the organizations that participate in Charity Walk in order to get a feel for the variety of groups who utilize Charity Walk and to see how they use these funds to support their missions. In visiting these groups, it became evident that HLTA needed to do more in communicating the fine work that is being done by our charitable recipients. Hence, the Charity Walk Annual Report was born. In these pages, readers can find a description of each nonprofit, charity, church group, or team that participates in and benefits from the Visitor Industry Charity Walk. More importantly, readers can learn more about how these dedicated people use Charity Walk funds to benefit our community.
We distributed the first printing of our report to each of our State legislators at Tourism Day and the initial feedback was awesome.
Upcoming Healthcare Conference
Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD) is set to host a conference for people who are living with diabetes, their loved ones, and medical professionals in Hawai'i. TCOYD's mission is to both educate and motivate individuals with diabetes to take a more active role in their health and to be their own health advocates by providing the most up to date medical information to them.
WHAT: TCOYD Conference and Health Fair – A Life-Changing Conference Experience
WHERE: Hawaii Convention Center |1801 Kalakaua Ave. Honolulu, HI 96815
WHEN: Saturday, February 29, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
WHO: Type 1s, Type 2s, family members and other caretakers, medical professionals and those who care. Speakers include TCOYD founder Dr. Steven Edelman (endocrinologist with Type 1 diabetes) , Dr Laurie Tom , one of Hawaii’s leading endocrinologists and more award-winning diabetes specialists
EXTRAS: Free Health Screenings, One-on-One Consultations, Cooking Demos, Fitness Classes, Interactive Exhibits, Lunch and snacks included.
The cost for this event is $25 for those who register early or $20 when two or more people register. If you would like to attend but cannot afford the admission fee, please call the TCOYD offices at (800) 998-2693 and ask about their Registration Assistance Program.
HLTA Supports Responsible Development
Tourism Industry Supports Responsible Development
Tourists come to Hawaii because we are a premier destination renowned for our Aloha spirit and cultural diversity that people the world-over want to experience. As tourism is our top industry, and a huge source of jobs and tax revenue, we must be prepared to meet the demands posed by these returning and prospective visitors. Thanks to studies by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, we can look deeply and objectively at state trends to both understand and act prudently to address concerns among residents about the buzzword, “overtourism.”
In this regard, the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association is a strong proponent of the responsible development of lodging properties confined to areas designated for hotels and resorts, and we will always strive to be environmentally sensitive and cherish and nurture our Hawaiian culture. Our view is that construction on existing hotel properties and renovation of aging resorts will only help our industry attract the high-quality visitors that we seek.
In fortifying our traditional lodging options, our counties are afforded time to curb the proliferation of illegal, tax-avoiding, transient vacation rentals (TVRs). With the advent of online booking services, a number of visitors have turned to TVRs for their accommodations, many of which are located outside resort-designated areas. This phenomenon has had unfortunate consequences: property owners are renting to visitors and thereby reducing the supply of rentals for residents, and business operations, with all the inherent nuisances and problems, intrude into residential neighborhoods. This is apparent on Maui, which greets more than three million visitors a year, nearly ten times the number of Valley Isle residents. Similar statistics can be found for the other islands.
Our industry’s goal, in keeping with state and county land use and zoning regulations, should be to draw visitors back to tourism-designated areas, which are well-equipped to handle these travelers. Under new county regulations, TVRs in resort districts will be allowed to operate, but will now be taxed at rates comparable to what hotels pay in general excise, hotel room, and property taxes. We believe this will decrease the number of visitors but generate more in spending and tax revenue.
Meanwhile, traditional brick-and-mortar resorts are investing millions of dollars on projects and renovations to their existing properties. On Hawai‘i Island, Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows was renovated and rebranded as Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection. On Maui, overhauls have been completed at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa as well as at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. And O‘ahu witnessed the opening of the Halepuna Waikiki and Residence Inn by Marriott in Kapolei in 2019.
Slated for the next couple years, the Princess Kaiulani hotel will undergo a complete rebuild. This year on Kaua‘i, the Princeville Resort will undergo a $100-million remodeling while The Grand Wailea has planned a $91.5-million renovation to its current 776-room property on Maui. The oceanfront resort will also expand its parking structure and enhance its pool and restaurant facilities.
The benefits that come with the above hotel construction and renovations are myriad. First and foremost, it means more local jobs as residents will be the ones building and staffing them. This means employment opportunity for skilled laborers, housekeepers, front office staff, suppliers, and so on.
Secondly, having the hotel room inventory and the upgraded visitor experience provided by these renovations will allow us to attract high-quality travel, while also ensuring that residents can continue to live, work, and raise their families in Hawai‘i.
Hawai'i Hotel & Restaurant Show
The second annual Hawai'i Hotel & Restaurant Show, the premier showcase for Hawaii's hospitality industry, is fast approaching! Don't miss this opportunity to interact with hundreds of exhibitors as they share the latest in technology, products, and services available on the market today.
I am pleased to announce that Shep Gordon, the man credited with creating the celebrity chef phenomenon, will serve as keynote speaker at this year's Hawai'i Hotel & Restaurant Show. Shep will also be hosting an auction for a private dinner for up to eight people at his home. The celebrity chef who will be preparing the meal will be none other than Hawai'i's own Chef Roy Yamaguchi!
Tickets are still available!
Wednesday - February 19, 2020
Aloha Tower - Pier 6
Check-in: 4:30 p.m.
Parking: 1st hour free - $2/hour with validation
Price: $35 for HLTA members
If you bring a potential new member, you may purchase two tickets for $60!
Your ticket includes:
Hosted beer/wine/select cocktails
Lucky Draw Ticket for Prizes
HLTA Sex Trafficking Plan
The Hawai'i Lodging & Tourism Assocation recognizes that the lodging industry can play an outsize role in disrupting the scourge that is human trafficking. As such, we have put together a disruption plan and will continue to work with our elected officials and community partners to address this issue. To read our plan in its entirety, please click here.
HLTA Staff Announcements
I am pleased to announce that I have tapped Jason Paloma to be HLTA's new Senior Director of Operations. Jason will take over the responsibilities formerly handled by Edgar Palafox, who left our organization to spend more time with his wife and twin daughters.
Jason comes to HLTA from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs where he served as lead grants specialist. Prior to that, he spent 20 years with HMSA in a variety of senior roles. He is a former Pacific Century Fellow and a current member of the Hawai'i Sports Hall of Fame's executive advisory board. Jason will oversee our day-to-day office operations and help organize our numerous community engagement programs around the state.
I am also proud to announce that I have promoted Jared Higashi from Senior Director to Vice President of Government and Community Affairs. Over the past five years, Jared has been invaluable in helping me to forward HLTA's advocacy efforts. He will retain his government affairs duties and will also lead key events such as the Visitor Industry Charity Walk, Na Po'e Pa'ahana awards, and the Visitor Public Safety Conference.
Lei Day at the Capitol
On Tuesday morning, HLTA held its annual Lei Day at the Capitol event. Each year, before the governor delivers the State of the State address, HLTA staff and members descend on the halls of the Hawaii State Capitol to deliver lei and our legislative packet and wish our state legislators all the best for a successful session.
We had a great turnout of both allied and lodging members who joined us for the morning. Mahalo to all of our members who were able to make it!
I'd like to also send a special shoutout to Sukit Kanaprach and The Orchid Lei Company who donated all of the beautiful lei that we handed out on Tuesday. The Orchid Lei Company has always been a strong supporter of HLTA and has supplied us with the most amazing lei many a time. Mahalo Sukit!
Lastly, mark your calendars for February 21st as we bring our hospitality and aloha spirit to the big square building again at our annual Tourism Day at the Capitol.
Royal Hawaiian Center 40th Anniversary
Congratulations to The Royal Hawaiian Center which held its VIP Kick Off Party in recognition of the center's 40th anniversary.
Government Affairs Talk Story
The New Year is in full swing and we are off and running. Over the past week, HLTA put on three events that I'd like to share with you.
On Tuesday, we held a Government Affairs talk story event at the Prince Waikiki where industry stakeholders took advantage of the opportunity to meet with State legislators and learn more about their priorities for this year's Legislative Session. A variety of issues were raised and discussed, such as TVRs , the much needed repairs at the airport, homelessness, transient accommodations tax, crime and state/county duplication of services.
Mahalo to the following legislators who participated in our talk story event:
Senate President Ron Kouchi
Senator Kurt Fevella
House Tourism Chair Richard H. K Onishi
Rpresenative John H. Mizuno
Representative Scot Z. Matayoshi
Representative Val Okimoto
A final mahalo to the Prince Waikiki for hosting us!
Charity Walk Kick-Off
On Thursday, HLTA held its annual Charity Walk Kick Off Breakfast at the 'Alohilani Resort. The event was highlighted by a $5,000 donation from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation for this year's Visitor Industry Charity Walk. New ideas and initiatives were introduced to bolster fundraising and participation efforts for 2020!
This Saturday, The Polynesian Bowl, a high school all-star game, will be held at Aloha Stadium for the fourth year and will feature the next generation of Polynesian football stars. This morning, we held an event at James Campbell High School that featured Polynesian stars of the past like four-time Super Bowl champion Jesse Sapolu and two-time Pro Bowl selection Vai Sikahema along with college standouts AJ Epenesa and Ewa Beach native Tua Tagovailoa and Polynesian Football Hall of Fame inductee David Dixon.
The students were treated to speeches from each of the athletes and had a great time with more than a few "Roll Tide" calls coming from the audience. Special shoutout to JCHS Principal Jon Henry Lee and Vice Principal Shayne Greenland for making today a reality. A similar event was also held at Kaimuki High School, thanks to the support of Principal Jamie Dela Cruz and Bulldog Football Coach David Tautofi. That assembly featured former Denver Broncos star Ma’a Tanuvasa, PFHOF inductees Haloti Ngata and Dominic Raiola, and Outland Trophy Winner Penei Sewell.
Yesterday, the House and Senate presented a joint legislative proclamation to PFHOF board members Jesse Sapolu, Ma’a Tanuvasa, and Vai Sikahema. Accompanying them to the State Capitol were HTA’s Chris Tatum and yours truly representing HLTA.
30th Annual Na Po'e Pa'ahana Awards
Yesterday, HLTA held its 30th Annual Na Po'e Pa'ahana Awards luncheon at the Hilton Hawaiian Village's Coral Ballroom. HLTA Chair Mike Jokovich and I had a wonderful afternoon meeting all of our nominees, finalists, and our awardees. As always, the stories that arise during Na Po'e are heart warming and at times incredible! As we close the books on this event each year, I get to reflect on not only the rich diversity of our industry's workforce, but also the quality of the people who comprise it. They are all, truly, no ka oi.
2020 Outstanding Lodging Employee of the Year
Kirk Togashi – Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
2020 Manager of the Year
Claire Butler - Hilton Hawaiian Village
Bell & Valet: Large Property
Dayle Ho'opai - Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort
Bell & Valet: Medium Property
Peter Nonales - OHANA Waikiki Malia By Outrigger
Bell & Valet: Small Property
Ted Tuttle - Wyndham Vacation Resorts Royal Garden at Waikiki
Engineer & Maintenance: Large Property
Mundy Gillcoat - The Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas
Engineer & Maintenance: Medium Property
Lee Ridley - Marriott's Waiohai Beach Club
Engineer & Maintenance: Small Property
Kyle "Kalani" Tihada - Napili Kai Beach Resort
Food & Beverage: Large Property
Imelda "Amie" Tungpalan - Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel
Food & Beverage: Medium Property
Gemsley Balagso - The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas Resort
Front Office: Large Property
Giadee Kaiwi - The Westin Maui Resort & Spa
Front Office: Medium Property
Manuel Nicolas - OHANA Waikiki Malia by Outrigger
Front Office: Small Property
Charles Ursua - Wyndham at Waikiki Beach Walk
Housekeeper: Large Property
Flordeliza Leo - Hilton Hawaiian Village
Housekeeper: Medium Property
Erlinda Aranca - The Kahala Hotel & Resort
Housekeeper: Small Property
Laurie Manatay - Aston Islander on the Beach
Security Officer: Large Property
Eric Capllonch - Sheraton Princess Kaiulani
Security Officer: Medium Property
Andrew Materne - The Ritz Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach
Security Officer: Small Property
Joseph Pascua - Lawai Beach Resort
Allied Member of the Year
Individual Allied Member of the Year
Lester Kodama - Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Chef/Restaurateur of the Year
Tylun Pang - The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
Hospitality Educator of the Year
Vice Principal Kenneth Acgaoili - Kaimuki High School
Leader in Sustainability
Prince Resorts Hawaii
Women in Lodging & Tourism: Woman of the Year
Hao Dang Tanacsos - HAOSkeeping, Inc.
Excellence in Community Service
Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
Debbie Nakanelua-Richards - Hawaiian Airlines
2020 Na Po'e Pa'ahana Legacy Award
The Polynesian Cultural Center
A big mahalo to our co--hosts Tannya Joaquin, left, and Brigette Namata, both of whom hail from KHON and did a wonderful job as emcees of the event.
On January 14, HLTA will be hosting its first government affairs event of the year, a talk story session with state legislators. We will be meeting with legislators from both chambers, including Senate President Ron Kouchi, Senate Tourism Chair Glenn Wakai, Senate Transportation Chair Lorraine Inouye, and Senator Kurt Fevella. From the House of Representatives, we will be joined by Vice Speaker Mark Nakashima, Tourism Chair Richard Onishi, Representative Scot Matayoshi, Representative John Mizuno and Representative Val Okimoto .
While we have enjoyed several key legislative victories in recent memory (TVRs, CONAM, Real Property Tax Rate carve outs or bed & breakfast properties), we must not become complacent. There are a number of key issues that are looking over the entire tourism industry and we must do our best to make our case to our legislators. This meeting will be a key first step in connecting with them this year and learning more about their priorities for the upcoming legislative session.
Tihati Productions 50th Anniversary Gala
On Saturday evening, Tihati Productions held its 50th Anniversary Gala at the Sheraton Waikiki. It was a most amazing night of outstanding entertainment, 'ono food, and great fellowship. A bevy of stars performed including, Sol3 Mio, Robert Cazimero, Amy Hanaiali'i, Willie K, Josh Tatofi, and past and present Tihati performers.
In recognition of their golden anniversary, the production company designated all proceeds raised by the event to be donated to three charitable organizations including South Seas Christian Ministries, the Eli Thompson Scholarship Fund at Saint Louis School, and the Hawaii Hotel Industry Foundation, HLTA's charitable arm. On behalf of HLTA and HHIF, mahalo to Jack and Cha Thompson, and the entire Tihati Productions 'ohana. Congratulations on reaching this milestone and best wishes for another 50 wonderful years.
Spreading Holiday Cheer
At the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Kukui Center Christmas Luncheon, HLTA distributed $800 in assorted gift cards to the nonprofits that are housed in the Chinatown-area center. These were donated by HLTA members and their guests at HLTA's Holidays In Paradise party. Pictured above are Kukui Center Executive Director Judy Lind, left, and Family Promise Program Director Josh Gaoteote.
Mufi is pictured above with HLTA Board Members Sanj Sappal, left, and Carol Shimomura at Pacific Guardian Life's annual Christmas Part which was held at Wai'alae Country Club.
The HLTA Hospitality Housekeeping Council held its annual Christmas luncheon last week Thursday at the Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant. Congratulations to HHC Chair Hao Dang, far right, for another successful year. A special mahalo to United Laundry President & CEO Vicky Cayetano, far left, for sponsoring the event.
HLTA Holidays In Paradise
Please join us for our Holidays In Paradise (HIP) Christmas Party on Thursday, December 5th. We have a fun evening planned as Grammy-nominated Josh Tatofi will be performing. You can see a video of Josh performing Henehene Kou Aka in the video below.
Holidays In Paradise will be held at Duke's Waikiki in the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort on their Lower Patio. The restaurant will offer validated parking for up to three (3) hours at the Ohana East. With validation, parking will cost $6 for three hours.
Please bring a gift card with a minimum denomination of $20 for entry in our lucky draw. Gift cards will be donated to a local nonprofit to benefit those in need during this holiday season.
Bill 55 (2019), CD2
On November 13, The Honolulu City Council Budget Committee reported out Bill 55 (2019), CD2 for passage on third reading. This bill, which relates to Real Property Taxation, carves out a specific tax class for Bed and Breakfast Home properties. This is a significant step in the right direction by the City.
As you know, HLTA has long supported the regulation of illegal transient vacation rental (TVR) units, and we advocated tirelessly for legislation to this effect. From the very get-go, we also pushed for short-term rental units to pay real property tax rates that were entirely separate from those paid by purely residential properties. Bill 55 (2019), CD2 addresses this missing link of real property tax parity and will also help the City to collect much needed revenue from legal short-term rental units.
Maui County and Kaua'i County have already enacted similar legislation that establishes separate tax classes for short-term rental units, and I am pleased to see the City & County of Honolulu following suit. Hopefully, the passage of Bill 55 (2019), CD2 will also lead Hawai'i County to consider making the same amendments to their real property tax classes.
While the agenda for the City Council’s December meeting has not yet been posted, I do expect to see this item put to a vote at the Council’s December 4 meeting.
Hawai'i Tourism Wholesalers Association
Last week, at the request of Trade West, Inc. President Thomas Matthews, I sat down with members of the Hawai'i Tourism Wholesalers for a talk story session. Mr. Matthews told me that he had reached out to me after reading about HLTA's current initiatives in the spadea that we ran in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser during our 192nd General Membership Meeting.
The evening was filled with lively conversation as we talked about tourism management, legislative priorities that affect Hawai'i's visitor and business industries, public transportation, and the future of our state's tourism industry. We ended with a short Q&A session and had a positive and productive conversation.
Hawaiian Airlines 90th Anniversary
Congratulations to longtime HLTA member Hawaiian Airlines which celebrated its 90th anniversary last week. In recognition of this milestone, the local airline replicated their historic 1929 flight by flying from Honolulu to Hilo with a short stop on Maui. The flight attendants who staffed the flight donned vintage uniforms from the 1960’s through the 1990’s.
Hawaiian Airlines also held the Great Hawaiian Plane Pull during which 68 teams of 12 worked together to pull a Boeing 717. The event raised $33,000 for the airline’s environmental nonprofit partner, Sustainable Coastlines Hawai'i.
Mahalo, Hawaiian Airlines, and best wishes for 90 more successful years.
Na Po'e Pa'ahana
Please join us at HTLA's 30th Annual Na Po'e Pa'ahana Awards Luncheon where we will honor our industry's most outstanding front-line employees. This year's luncheon will be held on Thursday, January 9, 2020 from 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort.
To reserve your seats or to purchase tables, please click here.
We look forward to seeing you.
Campaign for a Safer Community
Mufi is pictured speaking at the close of the Campaign for a Safer Community symposium at the Royal Hawaiian. This free event is also being held on Maui, Hawai'i Island, and Kaua'i over the next few days. For more information, you can visit https://hoolanapua.org/event/safer/.
Yesterday, Ho‘ōla Nā Pua, in partnership with HLTA and Hawai'i Tourism Authority, hosted a free symposium called “Campaign for a Safer Community: Taking a Stand Against Trafficking” to better equip local tourism industry professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to recognize and report suspected instances of human trafficking. It included three sessions that covered topics including how to recognize trafficking and exploitation, how to efficiently report suspected human trafficking, and how our tourism industry can be a key partner in making our communities safer places to live. HTA’s funding is also making it possible for the symposium to be held on Maui, Hawaii Island and Kauai in the next few days.
As I said in my closing remarks at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, sex trafficking is a problem that affects entire communities, not just our industry. That being said, our hoteliers are on the front lines and, it is important that we be proactive about addressing this crime. It is illegal. It is indecent. And, it is immoral.
If you suspect that someone is being victimized by human traffickers, in addition to notifying local enforcement authorities, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888.
HTA and the Hawai'i Visitors Convention Bureau (HVCB) recently launched their Kuleana Campaign, a video campaign that shares the unwritten rules and etiquettes of Hawai'i with those visiting our state. The videos were filmed on O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua'i, and Hawai'i Island and cover topics that range from ocean and hiking safety, to cultural awareness.
In addition to posting the entire set of videos online, the Kuleana Campaign has partnered with Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, and Southwest Airlines, all of whom are airing these videos during flights that are en route to Hawai'i.
To see the entire playlist, please click here.
Na Po'e Pa'ahana - DEADLINE EXTENDED
It is the final week to submit entries for the 30th Annual Na Po'e Pa'ahana Awards. The cutoff date has been pushed to midnight of November 8. Don't miss this opportunity to recognize and honor the front-line employees who truly are the heart and soul of our Hawai'i's tourism industry.
To submit an entry, please click here.
Congratulations to the new Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani and their General Manager Julie Arigo! Julie is a former HLTA Chairperson and the current Chair of our Women In Lodging Committee.
Residence Inn Kapolei
Congratulations also to the new Residence Inn by Marriott which opened in Kapolei last week. Pictured from left are HLTA Senior Director of Government and Community Affairs Jared Higashi, General Manager Brian Hunnings, Mufi, and Director of Sales Kelly Kitashima.
Stay in the know
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