Meeting with Marriott International's Executive Team
Yesterday afternoon, I joined the Marriott International leadership team to speak on HLTA’s and the visitor industry’s legislative priorities. Marriott International Area Vice President (Hawai‘i & French Polynesia) Harris Chan, and newly appointed Hawai‘i Tourism Authority President, Chris Tatum, were accompanied by Marriott General Managers and key executives from across the state for one of their annual executive meetings. During my presentation, I covered our key priorities: from the regulation of transient vacation rentals at the county level, to the implementation of an airports corporation, defending against transient accommodations taxes on resort fees, and our homelessness and public safety initiatives.
Additionally, I covered the hot topic of “overtourism,” a term that has been coined by many to describe the increasing number of tourists that are visiting destinations throughout the world - resulting, in many instances, in draconian measures aimed at halting tourism.
We should view and deal with “ overtourism" by keeping the following three points in mind:
1. It is not enough to simply focus on marketing tourism - we need to be equally concerned about managing tourism better;
2. We, as a state, should be targeting quality tourism rather than focusing strictly on quantity tourism;
3. We, as an industry, need to be at the table when such discussions are held so that we can help guide these community deliberations in a thoughtful and measured manner.
As I have stated repeatedly, major kudos to Kaua‘i and Maui, through the hard work of our HLTA Chapters, county government, and industry partners, in developing Tourism Strategic Plans to address this issue.
If there are any organizations or businesses within the HLTA membership that would like me to present our legislative priorities and advocacy efforts, on behalf of our industry, to your team, please contact my Senior Director of Government & Community Affairs, Jared Higashi, at email@example.com.
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