Introducing: "Tourism 101"
Wednesday morning, I officially debuted HLTA’s new show on ThinkTech Hawaii: Tourism 101. My inaugural guest was State Senator Glenn Wakai, who chairs the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology. This new 30-minute show was streamed live on OC16 and on ThinkTech’s website from 10 - 10:30 am. If you missed it, you can view the full episode on YouTube here, as well as on our website.
Tourism 101 will air once a month. Like “Tourism Tuesday," I am looking to use this platform to further spotlight our industry, and to inform the public about the merits of tourism. In pursuit of that goal, I would like to invite you all to please share our episodes with your friends, family, and colleagues. If you have something you’d like us to discuss, or would like to be on the show as a guest or host, please contact Ashley Yonamine of my staff at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hawai‘i Island’s 2018 Charity Walk Grant Distribution
Wednesday night, I joined our Hawai‘i Island Chapter at the beautiful Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, to distribute the funds from the Big Island Charity Walk. The event served as the culmination of the hard work and dedication put forth by the many planning committee members of Hawai‘i Island’s Charity Walk. Sixty-four charitable organizations, serving the local community, were awarded much-needed grants to fund programs that address the pillars of Charity Walk, from homelessness to youth and education. A special mahalo to our Hawai‘i Island Chapter Chair and General Manager of the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Steve Yannarell and his team, who generously hosted the evening and did a fabulous job of spearheading the Charity Walk. This officially marks the third grant allocation ceremony for the 2018 Charity Walk. Oahu will close out the 40th annual year on September 13th at Roy’s Eating House 1849 at the International Marketplace in Waikiki.
Little League World Series Champions: Congratulations, and Welcome Home!
At the height of concern and with the entire state in heavy anticipation of Lane, Hawai’i residents from across all islands were grateful for the happy reprieve that came with watching our own Honolulu All-Stars win the US Championship, and then take home the title in the Little League World Series last Sunday.
Upon their arrival home to Honolulu International Airport Monday afternoon, the team was greeted with hundreds of cheering fans, supporting this resilient team that truly exemplified aloha.
In the wake of an at-the-time Category 4 hurricane that threatened their home towns, these young men stayed focused, positive, happy, and genuine ambassadors of aloha. As the mayor of Honolulu, I had the honor of staging parades and a Sunset on the Beach for the first two teams that won the Little League World Series - Ewa Beach in 2005 and in 2008 Waipio and this latest feat of the Honolulu squad brought back a lot of memories! Congratulations gentlemen: you have been a beacon of light through this storm. It takes a special team to accomplish what you have done. I offer my sincere gratitude to the coaches and families of these young men, who have been gracious representatives of Hawai’i as they met and played teams from many different places. You have shown the entire world what it means to be from Hawai’i, and we are all incredibly proud of you.
Hawai'i Remains Prepared for Hurricane Season
When speaking of natural disasters, I have always said that it isn’t a matter of “if” but rather a matter of “when”, and as Hurricane Lane came barreling towards our state last week, we came perilously close to seeing this happen. Lane headed to our state as a dangerous Category 4 hurricane, with a forecasted track that would have taken the storm directly over our island chain, proving to be one of the biggest natural disaster scares our state has faced in decades. Thanks to high-pressure weather conditions and the ensuing wind shear, Lane lost a lot of its momentum and eventually downgraded to a tropical storm, as it veered westward of our islands.
As Lane leaves Hawai‘i, I would like to send a sincere mahalo to everyone who stayed vigilant and informed during the storm’s passing. This was a critical test for Hawai‘i, and it was reassuring to see that the visitor industry was well-prepared for the threat.
Although the remnants of Lane have moved towards the remainder of the Pacific, we did not emerge unscathed. We send our thoughts and prayers to the areas of Hawai‘i Island, Maui, and Kauai which saw heavy rains this past week with some regions experiencing record-breaking rainfall, resulting in the flooding of several towns.
While we take lessons away from this incident, I would again like to thank you all for your fine representation of the visitor industry during this time of crises. Please note, hurricane season extends through November; and we ask that you remain cautious and prepared for any future storms that may head in our direction.
Mahalo for your kokua.
President & CEO
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