Congratulations Chris Tatum, the New HTA President
On behalf of the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association, the state’s largest private sector visitor industry organization, I offer my sincere congratulations to longtime friend, Chris Tatum, who has just been unanimously confirmed today as the new President & CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
He is a diligent and experienced executive, who has played a pivotal role in Hawai‘i’s visitor industry since his permanent return to Hawai‘i in 2001. While a student at Radford High School , he began working in tourism as a summer employee at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, which eventually led to him being Area General Manager of Marriott Resorts Hawaii. Additionally, Chris has served in a variety of leadership positions that buttressed his Marriott career path - from being the former chairman of the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association in 2010- 2011 , when I was first hired to head HLTA , to the current Chairperson of the Hawaii Visitor and Convention Bureau, Chris has truly devoted his time and talents to our industry.
Having known Chris for many years I can personally attest to his passion and meticulous work ethic which will serve him well in his new capacity at the helm of HTA. As a board member of HLTA, he has co-chaired our Government Affairs Committee so he is very familiar with our issues and priorities at the big square building and at the county level.
We look forward to our partnership with HTA’s new leadership and anticipate great things ahead as we work collaboratively. Congratulations Chris!
Rotary Club of Waikiki
Following my speech at the Hawai‘i Ecotourism Association’s annual luncheon (see Mufi’s Message 11/16), I was invited to be the speaker at the Rotary Club of Waikiki’s meeting at the ‘Alohilani Resort this past Wednesday.
For those who may not be familiar with the Rotary Club of Waikiki, this group of philanthropically-driven members has a long history as one of the largest Rotary Clubs in Hawai‘i. Chartered in 1939, the organization is comprised of business, professional, and community leaders who strive to exemplify the Rotary motto of 'Service Above Self' in their daily lives.
I have had the honor of speaking to Rotary Clubs in Hawai‘i on a number of occasions and through different professional capacities. This week, I had a hana hou performance on my presentation to the Hawaii Eco-tourism Association and continued my discussions on overtourism and the importance of managing tourism better. Having worn many “visitor industry” hats in both the public and private sectors I have always advocated the point that we as a state need to focus on quality tourism rather than quantity of tourists. I pointed to specific examples from cities around the world that have resorted to draconian measures in dealing with the issue of overtourism. Some jurisdictions have instituted visitor caps, while other countries have gone to extreme measures, one example being the island of Boracay (Phillipines), which was closed to tourists, by Presidential order, for 6 months to allow for environmental and infrastructural restoration.
The issue of overtourism in our state is nowhere close to some of those severe cases around the world, but as we near the 10 million annual visitor mark, we must stay proactive in addressing this concern. As I alluded to in an aforementioned Mufi’s Message, I applaud the HLTA Kaua‘i Chapter and MHLA for the work they have accomplished with their respective county governments and industry partners in coming out with tourism strategic plans that address this very pertinent topic. Next is for Oahu, Hawai‘i Island, and the State as a whole to come up with similar initiatives.
I would like to extend a warm mahalo to Rotary Club of Waikiki’s President, Stephen Morgan, my introducer, Gene Grounds, the board of directors, and the lively Rotarians for having me speak to them about this timely topic.
Call for Salvation Army Bell Ringers!
Please join us next Thursday, December 6th for Oahu Chapter’s annual Salvation Army Bell Ringing Drive from 9 am to 11 am. We will be positioned at 6 locations throughout Waikiki: the Waikiki Business Plaza, Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach, Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort and Spa, Outrigger Waikiki Beach, Waikiki Beachwalk, and the Waikiki Bank of Hawaii.
If you’d like to participate please email Melina Hicks at email@example.com or call our office at (808) 923-0407 to sign up for a shift. Come out and help “ring” in the holidays for those in need during the Christmas season. Monies raised every year from the Red Kettle Campaign help the Salvation Army provide gifts for at-risk keiki, assist families struggling during the holidays, and feed the hungry throughout the islands.
Make sure to bring your holiday spirit on December 6th, we look forward to seeing you there!
HLTA New Year's Party, January 10th
Help us kick off 2019 at the HLTA New Year’s Party on Thursday, January 10th at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. Members of our Oahu Chapter committee & HLTA staff are working hard to make it a party you won’t forget! Stay tuned as we release more details in the coming weeks.
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