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
Stay in the know
Keep up with HLTA through our blog! Let us know what you think in the comment box below each post.