I hope everyone had a fantastic time yesterday at the Hawaii Lodging, Hospitality, & Foodservice Expo. It was great to see many of our members at the Neal Blaisdell Center, either hosting a booth or walking the floor. HLTA’s Women in Lodging & Tourism committee held an excellent educational workshop in conjunction with the expo on the growing issue of human trafficking. Mahalo to Jerry Dolak of Outrigger Enterprises Group, Jessica Munoz of Ho’ola Na Pua, Renata Del Morale of the Department of Homeland Security, and Kevin Takata of the Department of the Attorney General’s Criminal Justice Division, who shared informative tips on how to spot a potential victim or trafficker, and how to approach a suspicious situation. While many recognize that this problem exists, the fight against human trafficking is delicate and complex as it is often an “invisible” issue that happens right in our back yard. As I mentioned at today’s event, this matter is not one that is relevant just to women, but to everyone. As I say time and time again, we’re all in this together.
This morning we held an educational symposium on King Tides and sea level rise with the Engineers Advisory Council before the trade show, which proffered an eye-opening reminder of the imminent effects that climate change and sea level rise have on our state, nation, and world. Mahalo to Dolan Eversole of the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program, Bert Takahashi of the Sheraton Waikiki Resort, and Sam Lemmo of DLNR’s Office of Conservation and Coastal lands, who shared detailed projections on what the tides and sea level rise will prompt our islands to look like in the coming years, and information on what hotels are doing now to temporarily deal with the constant flooding and shoreline erosion. HLTA is aware of these implications and are being proactive in working to address this issue, as it strongly affects our quality of life, environment, and public safety- all critical components of our industry. In addition to today’s educational event, the Engineers Advisory Council has also been very active in community service. Most recently, they held the first phase of their service project at Kaiser High School this past Saturday, July 4, where they are demolishing and rebuilding the school’s theater stage. About 15 volunteers helped demolish the stage on Saturday, and will be rebuilding it later this month. Mahalo to the Engineers Advisory Council for their contributions to our communities, and to Dennis Maher for his leadership with the Council.
We hope to see you again at the expo today (Wednesday). Mahalo to Douglas Trade Shows, Soderholm Sales and Leasing, and Tropical J’s for being generous sponsors of our excellent lounge exhibit in the central concourse between the exhibition hall and arena. Come visit our staff and members, and learn about a new awards gala to be held in November in partnership with HLTA and aio Media, the parent company of HONOLULU Magazine, Hawaii Business Magazine, and HAWAI‘I Magazine. Nominations are now open to recognize the best of the best across a variety of categories spanning hotels and accommodations, restaurants, events, leaders in the industry, and agritourism. Submit your nomination at hawaiimagazine.com/hlta.
HLTA is also offering an incentive for new members to join our association. New members who join between now and July 31 will be entered to win an 808 Travel certificate of round-trip flights for two to a neighbor island on Hawaiian Airlines, coupled with a two-night stay at The Westin Princeville on Kauai. Remember, we still have our member referral incentive going until October 15, so this is a great time to recruit new members. As a reminder, every time you refer 5 new members you will be entered to win a round-trip flight to any Alaska Airlines destination with a three-night stay at a Marriott property. The person who recruits the most members will win a round trip to any Island Air destination with a two-night stay at an Aqua-Aston property.
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